Fall is here, and winter is on its way. New homeowners may not realize they need to do a few things to get a house ready for cold weather. Although winter in North Carolina is warmer than many parts of the U.S., we do experience below-freezing temperatures each year along with some snow and ice.
These tips will not only lower your utility bills but can help protect your new house:
- Trim dead tree limbs. This one is easy to forget, but any severe damage to your home in winter is often caused by old limbs falling down during or after a big ice or snow event. Massive branches (or the tree itself!) can crack your roof or siding, dent gutters or cars, break porch railings or decks, and even hurt someone.
- Run your fan in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat to produce an updraft. Switching the fan’s direction will push down heated air in the room. This adjustment could help you save energy by allowing you to turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees.
- Examine your roof and look for missing or damaged shingles that may allow rain from storms or melting snow into your home.
- Fill gaps between your window and door frames by reapplying exterior caulk. If gaps are larger than the width of a nickel, you should fill them.
- Clean your gutters to avoid water backing up to your house and damaging your roof.
- Divert water by adding downspouts, so that water runs at least three or four feet away from the foundation of your home.
- Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect hoses. Ice expands, so freezing water can cause pipes to burst.
- Mow your leaves instead of raking them. If you cut leaves while they are dry, they will fall among the grass and decompose. Many homeowners prefer to bag and curb their yard waste to avoid odd patches in the lawn, but the dead leaves can provide nourishment during the dry winter as long as you manage them by mowing.
Professional Home Winterizing
You can do a lot to help protect your home from the wintry weather, but you may need a professional for some of these jobs:
- Hire a weatherization contractor to identify and fix air leaks, preventing ice dams and icicles. If you had a lot of icicles last year, take precautions, because meltwater can back up and flow into your house and cause damage.
- Hire a technician to inspect your heat pump and make sure the system is clean and in no need of repairs. They will also check your carbon monoxide levels.
If you’re not yet a homeowner, contact us to learn more about the new, custom homes at Weaver’s Pond.