This guest post is written by Paisley Hansen:
The fall months are reaching an end and the cold days of winter will soon be making their presence felt. It is time to winterize your home, starting with checking your barn door hardware, making sure the doors roll on the track smoothly, closing tight, and not producing any air leaks. Placing a reflective exterior cover over the large glass surface, to prevent heat loss through the glass is among the many things on your winter preparation list for your home. Here are a few other things you can do to prepare for the cold days ahead.
Constructing Your Own Draft Snake
If you notice that your doorways let cold air in or hot air out of your home, you can construct your own draft snake to place at the bottom of entrances to prevent the flow of air. Sewing a long cavity out of material that can easily hold sand or some other fabric for stuffing should work fine as a draft stop. By keeping more of the warm air in during the winter, this should help to keep your furnace from having to work so hard and therefore keep your heating bill down. The energy savings from this step alone is between 5% and 30% energy savings.
If it gets too cold during the winter, your above ground pipes run the risk of cracking. This is a plumbing disaster you want to avoid at all costs. To prevent this from occurring, you must take measures to wrap your pipes with an insulating foam material to help lock the heat in, protecting the pipes from the cold. It is also important to make sure your AC pipes are protected and hoses emptied of liquid during the winter as well to prevent damage to your AC system.
Setting And Cleaning Solar panels
If you have solar panels, it is a good idea to adjust them to be more vertical during the winter months. This not only helps to ensure that they will hold less snow cover, maximizing their energy efficiency, but it also ensures that they will be aimed properly so that rays from the sun will strike their surface at a closer to proper angle with respect to the position of the sun during this time of the year. If necessary, it might also be important to clean the surface of the solar panels to make sure that there is no dirt or debris on the surfaces reducing their energy efficiency either. Purchasing or constructing a roof rake for removing snow and ice throughout the winter is also a preparatory measure you will need to take.
Winterizing Your Patio
When preparing your home for winter, it is important to make sure your Patio is properly winterized on your checklist of things to do. Often this process involves removing everything off of your patio, cleaning it off to make sure no debris remains behind, washing down all your patio furniture, and covering the furniture that will remain outside with plastic tarps. The tarps should tie securely to the legs of the furniture, and if possible, you should tie pieces of patio furniture to other pieces to prevent strong gusts of wind carrying off individual pieces. Tying everything to something secure, like poles or a permanent fixture can also help keep everything where it should be during the winter months. Properly storing chair cushions, cleaning the grill, and securing and covering propane tanks outside, not inside, are all important measures to take in this process. Also, it is important to not leave any garden tools laying around on your patio either. The snow could cause the metal parts of the tools to rust and ice can get into cracks and weaken wooden handles making them dangerous to use. With a little thought and common sense, you can take inexpensive measures to protect your home from the elements during the winter months.