Home and Living knows some handy people and this particular article about winterizing comes from Mr. Handyman. The time peg here is winter–which starts this coming week–and because most people put off ‘winterizing’ their home because they either don’t know what to do or they don’t think it really matters, so we have the solution for you with these guidelines and tips.
The tips below are provided from Ian Hird, the local owner of Mr. Handyman, a home repair franchise located in Toronto.
Clean those gutters
The winter months are not the time to be messing around on the roof. Always clean your gutters from a ladder–you do not want to be leaning over the edge of the roof with nothing between you and the edge but the ground below. To clean the gutters, use the garden hoe to scrape the debris toward you, and then drop the debris to the ground below. To make certain the gutters are clean, use the washer/hose to spray down the gutters. Be sure to check the downspouts as well.
Winterize your pipes
Yes, the freezing cold weather seems like an eternity away, but it’s a lot easier to winterize your pipes now than it is after the winter months are in full swing. Inspect the pipes under your home to find the ones that need insulating. Simply measure the section to insulate, cut that length insulation and wrap it around the pipe.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
These can save you up to 33 percent on your energy bill. You can purchase a great one for about $75 and they’re relatively simple to install. For the summer, if you are out of the house all day, you can program it to let the house get a couple of degrees warmer while you are gone and then cool down again when you are in the house. That cuts your energy usage and saves you money. Energy Star says homeowners can save about $180 in energy costs by using a programmable thermostat. On average, for every degree you set back your thermostat, you can save 3 percent on your energy bill.
Sealing outlets or switches
Outlets and switches on walls leading to the exterior of your house are a huge source of energy loss. In the summer, the warm air in between the walls leaks inside through these areas. It’s cheap and easier to correct this problem. You can buy thin foam sealers that fit behind the plates. These are about 50 cents each. You just unscrew the plate, place in the sealer and re-secure the plate.
Check the windows
Building products can expand and contract with the weather. So a window that is tight in the summer humidity might let drafts in during the winter. We have seen many homes in which the weather-stripping started to fall off after many years and the homeowner just removed it without replacing it. By properly sealing windows with weather-stripping, you save money. Weather-stripping for a door costs about $10. It comes with adhesive on it, so you just peel and stick.