How to Prep Your Havertown, PA Home for Winter
Winter can be anything but a wonderland if you haven’t prepared your home for the season. Skyrocketing energy bills, drafty rooms, and furnace problems can make the cold months miserable.
But, it doesn’t to be that way.
In this post, we’re outlining ten ways to prepare your house in Havertown, PA, and in nearby towns, for winter. Some are quick, actionable items you can do yourself. Others will require a professional.
But, all of them will help lower your energy bills and keep your home warmer all winter.
Take a look and get started early! This way, you’re all set once the temperatures drop. And, if you have any questions or are ready to get an HVAC professional involved, give John Cipollone, Inc. a call. We’ve been servicing Havertown, the Main Line, and other towns in the Delaware Valley for decades.
10 Winter Home Prep Tips
Here are 10 ways to get your Main Line home ready for the cold weather:
- Get a Heater Tune-Up
- Make Sure Vents are Clear
- Insulate Water Pipes Install a Smart Thermostat
- Get an Energy Audit
- Seal Your Windows
- Cellular or Thermal Curtains
- Weather stripping
- Prune Tree Branches
- Cover Your Air Conditioner
- Secure Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures
Get a Heater Tune-Up
To start, replace your air filter. You should change it at least once a season, so now’s the time.
Next, get an HVAC professional to look over the unit. They’ll clean it out, lubricate moving parts, and swap out anything that’s broken or worn down.
Your heater will run more efficiently, which means using — and paying for — less gas, oil, or electricity each month. And, the heater is much less likely to break down.
Make Sure Vents Are Clear
Now that you’re heater is in great shape make sure the rest of the house is ready!
Make sure each vent in your home is visible. There shouldn’t be any furniture or other items within three or so feet blocking them.
Otherwise, the air can’t circulate properly through the house. Even worse, the heat will back up into the furnace if there’s nowhere for it to go.
A heater blowing cold air in the winter is a telltale sign that something’s wrong. The unit is trying to prevent itself from overheating. Ignore it, and you risk a breakdown.
Insulate Water Pipes
Insulating your water pipes, then, is a preventative measure. It helps keep them warm, even when the temperature dips low.
Frozen pipes are a costly problem if you don’t catch them soon enough. When too much pressure builds up, they’ll burst.
You can buy pipe insulators at a hardware store. Or, use pool noodles in a pinch.
Another benefit: Your hot water loses less heat as it travels through your home. You won’t run the tap as long waiting for the water to heat up.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat offers year-round benefits. But, they’re especially useful in the winter. Not only will they help you save money and make your house more comfortable. They can also alert you to a problem before it gets out of control.
Along with regulating the temperature, smart thermostats link to your smart devices: phones, tablets, laptops, and the like. From there, you can track the temperature and make adjustments from virtually anywhere.
And, after a while, these devices begin learning your habits and anticipating them. When they regulate the temperature on their own, you end up using less energy than before.
Finally, they’ll alert you if something’s wrong. If a leak or problem with the furnace causes the temperature to fluctuate, the smart thermostat will let you know something’s up.
Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit is a series of tests that measure airflow and drafts and leakage in your house. At the end of it, you get a report about the house with a list of things you can do to make your home more efficient.
You can call Cipollone, or check out PECO to see if you qualify for any free services.
Seal Your Windows
Energy audit or no, there’s a good chance heat is escaping out your windows. That’s especially so if you have older windows and frames. But, even new installations aren’t airtight.
If you’re not worried about aesthetics, you can buy clear plastic window covering or film and stick them over the frames. These are inexpensive, but the downside is you can’t open the windows until you take them back down for the season.
Another option is draft snakes: Fabric rolls with insulation inside them. Put them against the window to block the draft. You can move them whenever you need to.
Next, it’s on to your doors — and maybe some more of your windows, too.
Add weather stripping to your door frame to prevent drafts around the door. You can also do the same with some window frames.
It’s inexpensive and easy to install.
Cellular or Thermal Curtains
Let’s stay on windows for a little longer. Your next step here is hanging cellular or thermal curtains. These are heavy-duty curtains that keep the heat inside.
Like the draft snakes, they come in a variety of styles. So, they look much more like a design choice than a necessity.
To make the most of these curtains, leave them open on sunny days. The sunlight will help warm the room. Then, close them when it gets dark and windy out.
Prune Tree Branches
Moving outside, take a look for any tree branches close to power lines or your house. They may be fine most of the time, but in the winter they can become a problem.
High winds can cause them to sway or break. The same can happen if they get covered in ice that weighs them down.
Prune any trees with branches close to your house, and call a professional if they’re near power lines.
Secure Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures
Disconnect any hoses, and let the water in the pipe drain out. Then, cover it — and any other outdoor fixtures — with a bib or faucet cover. This keeps outdoor pipes warm and dry.
We already talked about the dangers of frozen pipes and how to prevent them inside your house. You also need to make sure to protect outdoor plumbing the same way.
Cover Your Air Conditioner
Finally, cover your air conditioner once the warm weather passes. Doing this keeps debris, trash, organic waste, and animals from getting in.
It won’t help you much in the winter. But, you’ll be thankful when you can use it again in the spring without any weird smells coming through the house. And, it’s much more likely to work correctly if you’ve protected it all winter.