It’s time to start to weatherize your home so that your ready for those cold months. I have to say living in Wisconsin it gets darn cold here on many days and we get a TON of snow as well. So you want to be ready when Jack Frost starts to nip and make sure that your home is ready to be warm without leaks letting your heat escape.
There are many ways to do this and for low cost as well. I will be locating rebates for you to get different supplies to weatherize your home. If you were reading last month there was a rebate for Dap silicone caulk to get you started on your way. (That rebate has ended now) Many of your hardware stores, Menards, Lowes and other stores are going to be having some great deals coming up on weatherizing products. As those become available I will be posting them so that you can get your home ready. I will be joining you in getting ours ready as well so that we are warm and toasty this winter and keeping our heating bills in check.
Today I wanted to take a moment to go over a check list of what are some of the areas that will be needing some attention.
Where do you lose the most heat?
* Windows and Doors- These can cause some problems for losing heat in your home. How can you make sure you won’t lose heat through this area of your home?
* A good 20-50 year Silicone Caulk will help seal up areas.
* Compression weather-stripping is used to seal swinging doors and window sashes.
* –V-shaped weather-stripping is fitted against the side of the door or window jamb so it presses against the edge of the door or sash and forms a seal. V-stripping may be vinyl or bronze.
* Foam weather-stripping is used to seal either swinging or sliding doors or windows.
* Thresholds and Door Bottoms–A threshold fills the gap between the floor and the bottom of a door. It may have a built-in vinyl bulb. If not, it must be used in combination with a door bottom mounted on the lower edge of the door.
All of these weatherization products will help to keep old man winter from making your heating bills to sky high.
Air Conditioner Units- If they are left in all year round then you will need to weatherize them so that your heat is not escaping through the unit. I like to make sure that mine are WELL insulated so that I will not have problems with the unit the following summer as well.
* Pink Insulation form boards
* Silver insulation sheets
Duct tape (Love my Duct tape!)
* Air Conditioner cover
Now I first use the Silver insulation sheet to cover the AC unit as it’s a tighter fit to the unit. I then measure the pink foam board and make a box with it to go around the unit and I duct tape both in place one over the other. Then I attach the Air Conditioner cover and tie it down over the top of the insulation. Then of course I like to Duct tape the edges so that it’s not being lifted by the cold winter air. This gives me 3 layers of protection for my unit. I do not have leaks in the winter and it is still solid as a rock come spring. Which I then place it in the shed so that I can reuse it the next winter.
* Your vents on your roof for the kitchen, bathroom, fireplace and so on. You will want to Caulk around them as they can let a lot of heat escape. Having this extra protection on there could save you more then you like to think.
Your Attic- Insulating your Attic is always a good idea. While there check for any visible leaks, areas that need to be fixed now, and anything that could cause a problem in the winter months. NOW is the time to find it instead of when your wondering why it just got so cold in the house and hmmmmm…..where did all this snow come from! Silicone Caulk can also come in handy in this area of the house as well. This will not fix large areas but smaller areas it will do the trick.
Plumbing-– If your house has a tendency to freeze up during the cold months now is the time to install heating tape! There are many different choices in this product. I do NOT suggest going with the cheapest price out there. This could cause a disaster in the winter that your NOT going to want to wake up to.
Heating tape runs anywhere from $24-$300 Now, some stores mark up the prices on the heat tape as they know your going to need it so shop around to get the best price. If you find a sale RUN don’t walk to get it because it WILL be gone!
Now is also the time to check any connectors and pipes as well. It’s not a fun time to have a flood in the basement and all of your family treasures floating on the surface of said flood. 🙁 Check under all sinks as well as you don’t want to be at work and come home to a flooded Kitchen or bathroom. This can be a mess to clean up so checking every 3-6 months can save you a LOT of headaches. You never know what is going to wiggle loose!
* Furnace- Now is the time to test it and make sure everything is in proper working order instead of that first cold morning when your wishing you had. Change the filter on the furnace before checking it. These can be purchased at any hardware store, Menards, or Lowe’s. If you have problems call in a repair man BUT find one that you will pay a trip fee usually $40 and then parts and labor. If you pay by the hour there are many who take their sweet time unless your watching them the whole time.
Your outdoor Plumbing – Yes, this needs to be maintained as well. Your outdoor plumbing can cause as many problems as your indoor plumbing. Regardless of whether your outdoor water faucets are frost-free or the hose bib type found on older homes, external faucets should be bled before freezing temperatures cause problems.
Many homes have an interior shutoff valve for exterior faucets; typically located on the interior wall of the house, directly behind the exterior faucet. The valve will either be a gate valve (round, wheel-shaped), or a ball valve (one with a lever). Turn a gate valve clockwise to shut off the water supply to the outdoor water faucet; turn a ball valve a quarter turn. If the valve is difficult to turn, apply a lubricating spray, and then turn with an adjustable wrench.
A cold weather cover will provide extra protection. Try this: cut a hole in the center of the cover to an empty plastic butter or margarine tub, large enough to fit over the faucet. Place the lid over the faucet, the lid top should be against the house. Secure the lid to the house siding using screws or tacks.Wrap a strip of fiberglass pipe insulation around the faucet, and secure with masking tape. Push the plastic tub over the faucet, and snap it onto the lid.
* You will also want to Weatherize your Garage and Shed as well. These are just some of the things you can do to weatherize your home. It will hep to keep your bills in a good range and make sure that the heat is not escaping. I will be doing Mobile Homes in a different post as they are a whole different animal. ; )