As a Maine homeowner, you’re no stranger to the harsh winter weather that comes with living in our beautiful state. While you may have your snow boots and parka ready, have you taken the necessary steps to winterize your home? Winterizing isn’t just about staying warm and comfortable; it can also help reduce energy costs and prevent costly damage caused by frozen pipes and storms. In this blog post by Home With Tom Landry, we’ll provide our top 5 winterizing tips for Maine homeowners to keep their homes safe and comfortable all winter.
One of the most important steps in winterizing your home is making sure it’s properly insulated. Check for gaps in doors and windows and consider adding weatherstripping or caulking to seal them up. Insulate your attic and walls to keep heat from escaping, and install insulated curtains or window film to keep cold air out. A well-insulated home can make a significant difference in your energy bills and keep your home cozy during the colder months.
Upgrading your home’s insulation may seem costly, but it’s a wise investment. As per Tom Silva, the general contractor of This Old House, a well-insulated home offers year-round comfort and reduces noise levels. The EPA suggests that by adding insulation to attics, crawl spaces, and basement rim joists, homeowners can save 15% on heating and cooling costs, equating to about $200 in annual savings. In colder regions like Maine, savings can increase up to 20%. Considering the average cost of insulation types ranges from $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot, you can easily calculate the savings you’ll achieve by upgrading your home’s insulation over time. An adequately insulated home can have a higher market value, with recent studies indicating a break-even return on investment after installing fiberglass insulation in the attic.
Your heating system will be hard at work during the cold winter months, so it’s essential to schedule a maintenance checkup before temperatures start to dip. Have a professional technician inspect your heat pump, furnace or boiler for signs of trouble, clean the system, and replace filters to ensure optimum performance. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you better control the temperature in your home, while a carbon monoxide detector will keep your family safe from potential dangers. Not only will regular maintenance of your heating system save you money on energy bills, but it can also help prevent hazardous situations.
Additional Heating Tips
Here are some additional tips to help keep your home warm and energy-efficient during the winter:
- Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature when you’re there and lower it when you’re away or sleeping.
- Keep your furnace running efficiently by cleaning or replacing filters once a month or as recommended.
- If you have hot-water radiators, eliminate trapped air once or twice a season to improve their efficiency.
- Use heat-resistant radiator reflectors to keep heat in your home.
- During the winter, keep your south-facing window coverings open during the day to let sunlight in and closed at night to reduce heat loss.
Freezing pipes can cause costly damage to your home, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them from freezing. Drain outdoor hoses and pipes, and insulate pipes that are prone to freezing. Consider installing a water heater blanket to help keep it warm and efficient, and seal any gaps around pipes and faucets to prevent cold air from getting in. If you’re going away for an extended period of time, consider shutting off your water supply and draining your pipes to prevent them from freezing.
Preparing the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, as water, snow, and ice can cause direct damage such as fallen gutters, roof leaks, siding damage, foundation cracks, and flooding.
Before the snow falls, clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams, and trim any trees or branches that could fall on your home during a winter storm. Check the roof for damage or leaks and repair them before the snow starts to fall. Finally, cover any outdoor furniture or equipment to protect it from the elements. These steps can prevent costly damage to your home and keep you safe during winter storms.
While we hope for a mild winter, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. Create an emergency kit with food, water, and first aid supplies in case of a power outage. In Maine, we recommend installing a backup generator or alternate heating source in case of an extended power outage. These supplies can keep you and your family safe and comfortable in case of an emergency.
By taking these winterizing tips into account, Maine homeowners can keep their property safe and comfortable during the coldest months of the year. Whether properly insulating your home, maintaining your heating system, or preparing for potential emergencies, a little bit of preparation can go a long way. Don’t wait until the snow starts falling to winterize your home! Take action now to ensure a warm and happy winter season.
Do you have further questions about home winterization? Tom Landry is your one-stop destination for all things real estate and construction in Maine. For more homeowner tips and tricks, or to explore our diverse collection of media content, head to our website. To contact Tom’s team directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.