Autumn is the perfect time to start preparing your home for the winter season, as it gives you plenty of time to make necessary home repairs before the snow and cold weather is upon you.
Here are some tips to prepare your home for freezing temperatures, ensuring your family's warmth and safety regardless of the weather outside.
- Call an HVAC professional to clean your ducts, check your furnace and change necessary filters. HVAC professionals are typically quite busy once winter hits, so booking an appointment in the fall is a good proactive move to make as a homeowner.
- Check all doors and windows for cracks and exposed areas. Use weather stripping around doors and caulk windows if needed to keep warm air in and cold air out.
- Installing storm doors and windows is a great way to winterize your home, and these additions can also increase the energy efficiency of your home heating system by as much as 45%. There are also tax credits available for Staten Island residents looking to improve energy efficiency, so check with your local government office or website to see if you qualify.
- Insulating your pipes reduces heat loss and can also raise the temperature of your hot water, which reduces the amount of heat your boiler has to produce. Simply purchase pre-slit foam from your local hardware store, cut the foam to the appropriate length, wrap it around the pipes and seal with duct tape.
- Have a fireplace? If it's been a while since you've had it cleaned, call in a professional to remove soot and creosote. Stock up on firewood and be sure to ask a professional to check the mortar (binding material) between chimney bricks to ensure you're not letting in cold air from outside. If you’re not sure how to find a reputable Staten Island chimney professional, call your Better Business Bureau or ask for a referral from friends and neighbors.
- One of the best ways to winterize your home is to check your home’s insulation and replace it if necessary. Your attic should have at least 12 inches of insulation in place. If you need to add layers of insulation, you don't need to call in a professional. You can purchase insulation at your local hardware store and add the insulation in a single afternoon.
- If you have any trees with long branches hanging near your roof, windows or driveway, trim them back. Snow and ice can accumulate quickly on trees and branches, causing them to become heavy and break which can severely damage your property or cause injury to people on the ground.
Staten Island winters can be rough, as the cold season comes on strong and quick. Winterizing your home can be done in a weekend, and the whole family can participate in winterizing activities such as checking carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as well as preparing an emergency kit should you lose power or heat. Being prepared for winter decreases your chances of facing an emergency, which can end up costing you a lot of money and unnecessary stress if you need to call in a professional at the eleventh hour.