Saying goodbye to fall has possibly never been as hard as this year – it’s been a genuinely outstanding, warm, glorious, and colorful season. But the clock is ticking, and the first winter freeze is at our doorstep – temperatures will drop and snow will fall. It’s time to prepare by winterizing your home, adding warmth and safety for you and your family. And, if you are considering selling, it can improve your home’s market appeal.
Here are eight must-do tips on prepping your home for winter, as reported by Real Simple. Start with a look at the inside of your home from the perspective of staying warm and safe.
Insulation in the attic
As we learned early in life, hot air rises. To optimize the value of the warm air your heater pumps into your home, your home’s attic area must be adequately insulated to keep heat from escaping into the sky. Proper insulation helps retain the heated air that furnaces work so hard to produce.
The warmth of insulation is rated in “R-values.” Higher R-values provide more insulation and, in turn, help prevent more heat loss and add to the personal comfort level of residents and prospective buyers. Plus, you can specify the insulation values as an attractive selling feature. The recommended R-value for an uninsulated attic in Colorado is R-60, according to energy.gov.
Seal air gaps
Another strategy for keeping warm air in and cold air out is sealing windows and doors with fresh weather stripping and double-pane windows. Checking for leaks can be easily performed by visually inspecting the surroundings of windows and doors for small gaps or cracks where sunlight peeks through. Next, you can hold a lit candle up to any areas you detect; if the flame moves, you can be sure air is leaking through, reports Real Simple. Be sure to add weatherstripping to these areas.
You can also have a building pressurization test done by a professional.
Inspect and clean dryer vents
This is one of those tasks that should be performed routinely and as part of your weatherization process. As temperatures drop, we use heavier blankets, sweaters, socks and coats, which increases the use of a clothes dryer and heavier clothing to shed. If the dryer vent becomes clogged with lint, airflow is reduced and the motor must work harder. Sealing your vents and air intake is also important to keep animals from making a home inside.
Test your smoke detectors
Check your smoke detectors twice yearly and perform one test just before the winter season. Winter activities tend to be more fire-prone, with extra lights, cooking for the family and heat pumping into the home. Ensure your smoke detectors and their batteries are working to help keep your family and guests safe.
Replace your systems’ HVAC filters
Help allow the air to flow through your heater by replacing the filter in your heating and cooling system. With new filters, airflow is not obstructed by lint or dust and your heater operates efficiently. You will be more comfortable and your heating bill will not be as high.
Add throw rugs
Here’s a tip that helps warm your space in temperature and aesthetics. Rugs add an extra insulation layer, keeping your feet warmer and cozier. Aesthetically, area rugs can tie together furniture pieces and up your home’s cozy factor in the cold winter months – making a strong impact on prospective buyers.
Even if you love the feel of unobstructed windows with sunlight streaming in during the day, cold weather months beg for curtains. Curtains make your room feel warmer aesthetically and in reality
– they act as a buffer against cold air and closing them at night can help your home retain its warmth.
Stock up on supplies
Go ahead and purchase that extra snow shovel, de-icing salt and ice scrapers. When the temperatures drop, it pays to be prepared to care for your home. Your preparedness will pay off in comfort and home resale value, for a loved home is a desirable home.
Read the full story at: realsimple.com/how-to-winterize-your-home-7853488.
By Tom Kalinski is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder. He has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.