With metro Atlanta temperatures turning colder again, it’s essential to make sure your home is adequately insulated and prepared for the cold weather. Here are five tips for preparing your home for cold weather to help keep you warm and comfortable throughout this cold, windy weather.
Protect outdoor pipes from freezing temperatures
To help protect your outdoor plumbing from freezing temperatures, make sure to disconnect all outside water pipes, hoses, and sprinkler systems before freezing temperatures arrive. If you’re not using it, shutting off water to spigots could prevent a burst pipe. Drain any remaining water to prevent it from icing over and causing pipes to burst. Also, install foam insulation around vulnerable pipes and wrap them in insulated tape or sleeves for extra protection against the cold.
Seal air leaks in your home’s foundation, attic, and walls
During winter months, uninsulated or poorly insulated walls and foundations can cause heated air to escape from the home. To prevent this from happening, inspect your home’s foundation and seal cracks or gaps in the exterior with caulk and appropriate weatherproofing products. Additionally, examine the attic floor, doors, and windows for air leaks. Don't forget the carport or garage, too. If you find drafty areas, seal them with foam board, spray foam, cellulose blow-in insulation, or rigid panel insulation to help keep heat inside the home.
Check around windows and doors for any cracks or gaps
To keep the chilly air out of your home, you must examine the seals around windows and doors. Check for cracks, gaps or other openings that allow cold air inside. If you have a stick of incense handy, you can use it to find drafts inside your house. Watch the smoke to identify problem areas to address. If you find any, you should caulk them with silicone-based sealants. The foam seal around windows and doors are also areas where drafts can occur, so it’s important to make sure they are in good condition.
Take care of your furnace and other heating systems
Before the winter season officially begins, it’s important to take care of your home heating systems, particularly your furnace. Avoid heating breakdowns during cold weather by having your furnace checked by a professional at least once a year. A technician can look for signs of problems and repair or replace defective parts before they become the source of an unexpected repair.
Changing your filter is key, too. A clogged filter impedes airflow, making your heating system work harder and decreasing efficiency.
Install or test carbon monoxide detectors
Most advice about weatherproofing your house revolves around making it more airtight. In new home construction, there’s a push toward using improved construction products that restrict air leakage into the home in a bid to increase energy efficiency. Unfortunately, as houses become more airtight, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning rises. That’s why it’s vital to have carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly.
Preparing your home for cold weather
Following this guide, you can protect against cold toes without going overboard on the power bill. Luckily for Georgians, we don’t usually have freezing temps for very long, but protecting your home against the chill of winter weather should still be a part of yearly maintenance. You never know when the wind chill might reach -15 again!