Winter is something of a strange dichotomy. On the one hand, it’s a long and unforgiving season, while on the other it’s a chance to really appreciate the cozy aesthetics of your home. But make no mistake about it, if your home ends up failing you – or you end up failing your home – then you won’t get to enjoy anything of the latter, and have to take the brute force of the former for three or four long months.
The trouble is that conditions are bad for us folks, and they are bad for our homes, too. It can turn problems that seem insignificant in the summer to completely disastrous when it gets cold. And holiday season or not, if you get a huge repair or replacement bill, it’s enough to give anyone the winter blues. Here are some tips to ensure that the cold weather doesn’t affect your at-home coziness while we all wait for the first shoots of spring.
Check your gutters
Let’s start with something easy. Your gutters will likely be filled with debris from the fall. Unless you clean them out, when rain or snow starts to fall it will collect in your gutter – and once the temperature drops you run the risk of freezing, expanding and leaking everywhere. It might be an unhelpful drip, but it could go unnoticed and end up on the inside of your home, causing damp problems. So, check for blockages and ensure all your drain areas are clear of fallen leaves, moss and other debris.
Use your HVAC
When winter calls, everyone uses their heating. But few make proper use of the ventilation and air conditioning aspects of HVAC systems. These are incredibly important to ensure you have good quality air to breathe, and also to take humidity out of your home, which could lead to damp. It’s also essential for keeping the temperature in your home at a comfortable level. It’s a good idea to get in touch with an AC company to give your unit a look between now and spring. They can also tell you exactly how you can use it best during the rest of the winter.
Clear your paths
Your home is designed to allow water to drain away from the actual building. But after the fall, there will be be leaves and all kinds of debris on your pathways, causing blockages and potentially creating pools that eventually run back towards the house. It could end up causing damp, and it’s also a health and safety issue, especially if the temperature is freezing. Don’t expect those leaves to rot away for some time, so clear them up unless you are asking for potential flooding trouble.
Draft spot checks
A final point – according to research reducing your drafts can save up to 30 percent in energy costs per year. That’s an astonishing amount of money that could give you an early start on saving up for next year’s Thanksgiving gifts. Use weather stripping and window film and caulk to ensure heat isn’t being lost in gaps around your doors, windows and floorboards.
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