10 Tips to Protect your Home from the Cold
The Winter weather has arrived in North Central Washington. Colder temperatures, with low temps in the single digits are on its way next week
(December 19th to Christmas Day).
Consider improving your home with this checklist to keep your family safe during the frigid cold Winter months in Wenatchee.
1 - Arrange for a home energy audit
You can contact your local PUD (Chelan, Douglas or Grant County) to have a professional come and help guide your family to make any necessary changes to keep your home safe and solid during the cold months.
2 - Feel for under-door drafts
If you take time to feel underneath any door leading to the outside, you might be surprised to feel a cold blast of arctic air coming in. Weather Stripping - is a great solution to block the cold air under the door. And its better than what we do at my house - throw blankets underneath the door crack.
3 - Seal around windows.
Placing caulk around the outside of your windows can cut down your monthly heating costs. Need a visual to help you DIY? Check out this video:
4 - Add insulation – especially around pipes
Older homes might need extra insulation to keep the heat in and the cold Winter air out.
An important tip is to look at your roof after a recent snowfall. If your roof shows areas of puffy marshmallow snow - that’s good! Your insulation is doing its job.
If you see areas of melted snow…not good. Inspect to see why heat is escaping through your roof. You may need extra insulation in those areas. You might also need to add protection/insulation to exposed pipes in areas close to exterior walls, in unheated basement - and your attic.
5 - Update your appliances.
Consider upgrading your furnace or appliances. The amount of money you get back will far outweigh the costs of soaring heating costs with an out-dated heat pump/furnace.
6 - Install a programmable thermostat and keep temperatures no lower than 65 degrees.
Keeping cooler temps during the overnight hours will save your family money.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure the temps don’t get below 65 degrees.
IF your temps dips below 55 degrees - you’ll need to schedule time with a professional. A pro will come in and see where your home is susceptible to bad insulation and possible freezing pipes.
7 - Protect water pipes from freezing
Install a “flow-based water leak detection system” to shut things down in the event of a busted water pipe or other water emergencies. Also, cover all outside faucets with Styrofoam insulated kits. They’re cheap and will save you LOTS of money from repairs from busted pipes.
8 - Lower your water heater temperature
Turning down the temp on your water heater will cut down on energy usage and save your family money.
9 - Consider installing a backup generator
Your home’s refrigerator, furnace and water heater need power in the event of loss of power to your neighborhood. Check out this great video to help educate you on:
- what kind of generator you could use as a backup
- how to switch your home over to the backup generator
10 - Clean your gutters regularly
Clear roof gutters, downspouts, and exterior drainage systems so they can drain properly and won’t cause issues with ice build-up or water overflow during a storm. Also consider installing anti-icing cables along the roof edge where ice tends to build up. Attach the cables will prevent ice dams from forming. (NOTE: Attaching these cables will result in extra power usage.)