The winter months can be hard on any home, especially a home that’s already in need of repair. Cold temperatures and harsh winter weather can take a toll on your home and its utilities; to get through to spring, you might need to make a few repairs and improvements. Here are a few home systems and utilities you’ll want to check while the weather’s still cold to make sure your home is in good shape.
Insulation and heating
One of the first places to look to make improvements to your home for the winter is your heating systems and your insulation. If it’s been a while since you last made home improvements, you probably haven’t thought about your insulation recently. Make sure you add extra insulation to pipes and walls as needed, and be sure to find insulation of the right R-value. The R-value is the measure of resistance to heat flow which is thermal resistance. The thermal resistance indicates the temperature difference when a unit of heat runs through it.
If adding extra insulation is too large of a fix, make sure what heating systems you already have in place are working as best as they can to heat your home properly. This includes places that you don’t always think of as a primary heat source, like fireplaces. Gas fireplaces should be serviced annually by a professional to make sure there are no issues with the gas connection and to clean out any dust or debris buildup inside the unit.
Plumbing and moisture
Not only is winter cold, it can be shockingly humid as well. While it might not feel humid due to the lower temperatures, precipitation and general moisture can cause a whole host of problems inside your home. This can be particularly an issue when it comes to mold, due to the relative warmth of a home as well as the moisture of winter. It only takes 48 hours for mold to set in and the longer things remain wet the more likely they are to be destroyed or cause permanent damage.
Make sure you check your pipes as well throughout the winter to prevent frozen and damaged pipes. Set your water heater’s temperature high enough to keep water hot enough in your home, but not so high as to waste energy.
Top energy savers
Winter can cause energy bills to spike for everyone, but the cost doesn’t have to be as bad. Cutting corners where you can can help you save on energy bills; try lowering your thermostat, switching the direction of your ceiling fan, and swapping out electric cords. All of these can not only save you money, but also make your home safer.
Winter can be rough on a wide variety of home systems, but maintaining your utilities and other parts of your home can help you get through the season more smoothly. What changes do you need to make to help your home get through the cold season?