With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your home cozy and comfortable during the colder months. Suppose you live in a cold climate like Pittsburgh, where snowfall averages around 41 inches yearly, and you want to stay cozy all winter without sky-high utility bills. How can you do that? Luckily, with easy maintenance and a few upgrades, you can ensure your home is winter-ready. Check out these tips to winterize your home inside and out.
Ensure your home is prepared for the colder weather by prioritizing roof cleaning as part of your maintenance routine.
Accumulated dirt, debris, and grime on your roof can cause damage over time. Have a professional roof cleaning service do a deep clean of your entire roof. They have the proper equipment and training to safely and thoroughly clean without causing any damage. Their high-pressure wash will remove built-up sediment and stains, restoring your roof’s surface and improving its longevity.
A clean roof also allows for better water runoff and drainage. Clogged gutters and downspouts prevent water from flowing properly, which can lead to interior water damage during winter.
Winter-Proof Your Home with Professional Siding Installation
Installing new siding or replacing outdated siding is the most important step in getting your home’s exterior ready for winter. Hiring professionals for this service
Siding can be especially useful in cities like Pittsburgh, where the nights can be as cold as -18 degrees Celsius. Hire experts for professional siding installation in Pittsburgh so that you can relax knowing the job will be done correctly. Consult with experts regarding vinyl, aluminum, or fiber cement siding because these materials can be extremely effective in insulating your property and protecting it from harsh weather.
Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
Weatherizing your doors and windows can significantly reduce your heating costs and make your home more comfortable.
Here’s how you do it,
Inspect doors and windows for gaps or cracks that let air in. Run your hand along the edges to feel for openings. If you see the light peeking through, that’s a sure sign you need weatherstripping.
For doors, install weatherstripping seals or sweeps along the bottom, and consider threshold seals for larger gaps. Foam, vinyl, or rubber strips that you place along the sides of the doorjamb are easy to apply and effective.
For windows, you can use removable caulk, weatherstripping tape, or window insulator kits with shrink film and double-sided tape. Measure each window to get the right sizes.
Inspect and Service Your Furnace
Before the cold sets in, call your HVAC technician to inspect and service your furnace. A well-maintained furnace is essential for an efficient, safe winter.
Check the filters and replace them if needed. Dirty filters reduce airflow and efficiency.
Test critical components like the pilot light, burners, thermostat, and blower fan to ensure proper operation. Faulty parts can be fire hazards or leave you without heat when needed—schedule routine maintenance like lubricating moving parts and tightening electrical connections.
Ask about recommended upgrades or total system replacements if your unit is over 15 years old. Newer furnaces are far more energy efficient and can lower your utility bills significantly.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris before the temperature drops. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, leaks, and water damage in the attic or basement.
Get up on a ladder and scoop out any leaves, twigs, or gunk from your gutters using a trowel or small shovel. For hard-to-reach areas, use gutter guards or a gutter cleaning tool to push out clogs. While up there, check that your gutters are securely fastened to the roofline and repair or replace any loose or damaged gutters or downspouts.
Next, turn on your garden hose to flush out your downspouts to ensure water can flow freely from the gutters to the ground. Any trapped water in the downspouts can freeze, crack the pipe, and lead to water damage in the walls.
Add More Warm Colors
Adding warm colors to your home’s interior is an easy way to make it feel cozy for winter. Think of shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Add Accent Pillows and Throws
Toss some burnt orange, cinnamon red, or mustard yellow pillows and throw them onto your sofa, chairs, and beds. Their warm hues will heat any room instantly.
Use Rugs to Define Spaces
Area rugs in warm tones help define seating areas in open-concept homes—an oriental rug with red and yellow details anchors the living room. A plush shag rug in spicy pumpkin orange adds coziness to a bedroom.
Paint an Accent Wall
For a bolder change, paint one wall of a room a warm terracotta, burnt sienna, or rusty red shade. An accent wall in a warm color envelops a space in heat and comfort. The other walls can retain a cooler, neutral tone.
Insulate Attics, Walls, and Pipes
Adding insulation in strategic areas like the attic, walls, and pipes will help ensure your home stays cozy all season.
Add more insulation to your attic floor to prevent heat loss into the attic space. Aim for at least R-30-rated insulation. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power. Loose-fill fiberglass or cellulose insulation is easy to install and helps fill gaps.
Adding insulation to your exterior walls is another effective way to boost your home’s efficiency. To contain the heat inside the living space, you can install foam board, fiberglass rolls, or cellulose insulation in wall cavities. For older homes, you may need to remove the drywall to access the wall cavities.
Insulating exposed water pipes, especially those along exterior walls, helps prevent them from freezing in extreme cold. Pipe insulation, available at most hardware stores, is easy to install. Measure and cut pieces to fit snugly around pipes. Secure the ends with duct tape for an airtight seal. Insulating pipes in colder areas like the basement, attic, or garage is particularly important.
So now that you’re armed with these essential tips to winterize your home, you can rest easy knowing you’re ready for whatever winter brings. Bundle up, stay warm, and enjoy the cozy comfort of your well-insulated abode. The chilly season doesn’t stand a chance against your home now! There’s nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from proactively preparing. Here’s to a winter wonderland outside and a toasty retreat inside!