Quite a few homes around your neighbourhood are not actually ready for the winter months. Through a variety of reasons they are wasting on energy efficiency. Hopefully your home is not one of them, but here are ten repair projects, just to be sure.
Tip Number One
Draft is an absolute killer on central heating. Simply put the more cold air coming into a home the more heating required to balance it out. Professional auditors can be called in to look for draft areas inside the home and it can be a bit surprising with what they find. For instance, I once had a home where, to fit a pipe into the attic, a five inch hole was cut for a three inch pipe. Obviously a mistake like that is going to let a lot of air out. A bit of insulation patching worked just fine for that job. Only took a few dollars to repair what would otherwise be a few more dollars each month on electricity.
Tip Number Two
Tip two is more about human nature than an actual repair. Closing doors during the winter is absolutely essential. There are not radiators in a lot of hallways for a reason! It is not meant to be heated. Honestly, how many people do you know that spend lots of time in the hallway? Probably not a lot, so start getting into the habit of making sure doors to heated rooms remain closed when at all possible. Otherwise the heat will escape into the hall and boost the electricity bill. Also make sure every door can shut properly as draft applies inside the home too.
Tip Number Three
Double glazed windows are-and rightly so-a huge craze right now. With considerably less heat loss compared to single glazed (normal) windows it does not take a lot to figure out why. I have seen claims as high as a 15% reduction in heat loss. Moreover, they can help to combat draft too. While they initially might cost a lot they are worth it in the long run. Besides saving on the electric bill they also increase rental value, future sell value, security, and noise as well.
Tip Number Four
Plumbing can be a dangerous hazard in the winter. If outside water is not turned off, then there is the potential for the pipes to actually burst. On that same thought a leak in the line could lead to the same sort of disaster. A lot of people do not go through this step, but it can be worthwhile to have a plumber come in and inspect everything is on the up and up.
Tip Number Five
On that note leaks should also be taken care of prior to the icy season. Not only will it allow heat to escape but it can be very troublesome should a really bad storm hit the home. Be especially prepared for new leaks throughout the season if you live in a winter wonderland. With so many things falling down due to high winds and ice every so often something big enough will fall to penetrate the roof. Nothing quite like waking up to a tree top falling through the garage!
Tip Number Six
Leaks in sinks are another common waste of money. They do not take a lot of green paper to fix either. A small drip can be surprisingly costly though. There should not even be a need for a plumber on little drips. Tightening some bolts, replacing a pipe, or maybe a new faucet should do the trick.
Tip Number Seven
Make completely sure to trim back trees and shrubbery before the season hits. Anything too close to the home is a potential hazard for coming in through windows or onto the roof. If you choose to take down an entire tree, though, I recommend calling in a professional. It can be difficult to predict which way the tree will fall and surely you do not want it to fall against the house.
Tip Number Eight
When was the last time your gutters were cleaned? They can be a bad source of water damage to the house. Make sure to check them every so often throughout the season as well. It may also be worth looking into gutter systems such as K-Guard, which advertise gutters where leaves will not clog the water flow.
Tip Number Nine
Call in professionals to check the heating system thoroughly. Heat can be lost through damaged ducts, a clogged filter, and a multitude of other problems. Your heater will be your friend through the season; do your best to take care of him too!
Tip Number Ten
Be on your toes. Things will go awry during the season. Just be prepared for problems to arise, stay calm, and everything will be okay. Even new builds have problem areas in dealing with the winter months!