Winterizing your home

Winterizing your home

The cold weather has arrived in the North Georgia Mountains. Have you winterized your home yet? Winterizing your home will help keep the heat in, the cold out and unnecessary damage from happening. Below you will find easy steps to protect your home and stay warm this winter:

Heating system: – Now is the time to make sure everything is working properly. If you haven’t already turn the heat on to test it. You should hear the furnace kick on and the heat blowing out. Keep the heat set at a minimum of 50. – Replace your air filters if dirty. – Make sure your heating vents are free and clear or dust and debris. – Check for Carbon Monoxide (Inexpensive tests are available as well as battery operated alarms)

Air conditioning: – Clean the unit by removing all dirt debris.

Chimney and fireplace: -Make sure the chimney is free of animals such as birds and squirrels. -Check to make sure the flue is working properly. -Make sure the chimney does not have a draft. To check this light some paper in the fire place with the flue open the smoke should rise up if it doesn’t you could have an obstruction and need to call a professional to clean the chimney.

Plumbing: -Insulate exposed piping. If you have pipes that are in non insulated spaces such as attics, crawlspaces, outside etc, make sure you insulate them at minimum with foam insulation. – Insulate your hot water tank with an insulating blanket. – Turn off all water to exterior water faucets and disconnect the hose. – If you will be away from your property for a length of time make sure all water is shut off to avoid pipes freezing and drain the water from the pipes by letting the water run out of your lowest spigot. Also consider turning the breaker off on your water heater.

Doors and windows: -Air leeks around doors and windows can make your heating bill rise. Check for drafts around windows and outside doors. If you feel air coming in install weather stripping around windows and doors.

Roof and gutters: -Make sure your shingles are not damaged or missing. -Be sure your gutters are free and clear of debris. Wet leaves in the winter can add weight to the gutter and cause damage.

Sprinklers: -If you have a sprinkler system make sure the water supply is turned off and air is blown through the system to prevent freezing.

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