While winter doesn’t hit coastal North Carolina as hard as northern states, it’s still important to winterize your home and perform seasonal maintenance. Preparing your home for winter before temperatures reach a freezing point prevents damage and helps keep your family comfortably warm.
Regularly cleaning out gutters is always a good idea. Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your house. But in winter, a clogged gutter can freeze. If it does, it becomes very heavy and can break or fall. Make sure to clean your gutters before it freezes!
Check for and Fill Cracks and Gaps
Ensure that there are no cracks in your molding, foundation, or around windows/doors. Fill the holes in molding or foundation with caulk, and install weatherstripping for any gaps around doors and windows. Most doors have adjustable thresholds that can easily be adjusted with a screwdriver, this is a good practice to ensure proper seal of the sweep to the threshold. Doing so will prevent pests from entering your home and save on heating costs by keeping warm air inside your home. Also, check all windows to make sure they are fully closed and properly latched to prevent energy loss from cold air slowly getting in.
Trim Tree Limbs
Like gutters, freezing rain and temperatures can make tree limbs heavier, causing weakened branches to fall or break. Trim limbs that are close to windows or over your gutters or roof to prevent costly damages to your home. Trimming shrubs and trees away from the house is also a great pest prevention tactic.
Drain Hose Pipes
When freezing weather is approaching, draining your pipes is a simple but effective prevention technique. Shut off the valve – labeled hose bib valve – inside your home, and then turn the hose on to let all the water run out of the pipes. This step is not needed frequently but is very helpful to know when we get a hard freeze in eastern North Carolina.
Wiping down your vents before turning them on for the first time will prevent an unpleasant “burnt dust” smell.
Replace Air Filters
Make sure that the money you’re spending for hot air inside is being used efficiently! Dirty air filters prevent proper airflow. Replace air filters regularly as recommended by your heating/cooling unit manufacturer. Be sure to use the correct size to properly filter the air and not leave gaps for dust and debris to be pumped into the air return.
These helpful tips will help keep your home cozy this winter and prevent damage to your property, and will also help save a few dollars on energy.