Get Your Home Ready for Winter

As the fall and winter weather begins to hit, one word I heard a lot while growing up in a cold weather state is “Winterize”.  Check the anti-freeze in your car, have your furnace checked, put plastic up on windows if you have an old home with drafty windows, stock up on firewood, etc.  In my family, the word was winterize.  Over the years, I have learned a new word:  Weatherize.  Dictionary.com defines Weatherize as:

weatherize  [weth uh-rahyz]  Spell Syllablesverb (used with object), weatherized, weatherizing. 1. to make (a house or other building) secure against cold or stormy weather,  as by adding insulation, siding, and storm windows.

As a resident of Murfreesboro, TN, we don’t see the harsh winters our friends to the North do.  However, that does not mean we are completely free from the need to weatherize our homes here in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Nolensville, etc.    

  1. If your home is on a crawlspace, close your vents in the winter and open them in the spring/summer.  This helps to keep cold air off your floors and will keep your home feeling warmer.  (Mine were not closed yet recently when the cold weather kicked in. I have hardwood floors on the main level and WOW! – what a difference it made once they were closed.)
  2. Do you have ceiling fans?  Reverse them when the weather changes to maximize efficiency.  Ceiling fans should blow air down onto you to cool you off in the summer.   In the winter, try flipping the switch that reverses the direction your fan spins, by doing so, you will help get the warm air circulating in your room.  (My last home had a high ceiling in the living room and I noticed the most difference in that room.  If I didn’t switch it, it seemed like the warm air just got stuck up there and changing the fan’s direction, helped.)
  3. Place weather stripping around the inside of each door and seal as needed. (How do you know if it needs to be sealed?  Well, I’ve heard a not so scientific way of testing it yourself:   If you wet your finger and run it around each window and feel a breeze when doing so, your window is not sealed properly.)
  4. Caulk around baseboards and trim.  (I’m no expert in this area, but I understand a good deal of air escapes from around your baseboards and wood trim. Caulking in these areas will help to seal your home.)
  5. Lock the windows.  If you have storm windows, close them as well.  Everything needs a good seal, even the windows!
  6. Check the fireplace – Close the flue when not in use.  Perhaps consider the use a solid screen or glass doors to assist with possible cold air leaks. You may wish to have the fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional.
  7. Inspect ductwork and have HVAC serviced by a licensed inspector.  If your ductwork has leaks, your HVAC will not run as efficiently as it should.

Do you have anything else to add to this list?  These are just a few ideas that came to mind.  Any other ideas would be helpful to readers.  Stay warm, have a great fall, winter and holiday season!  If you are ready to find a new home or sell your current home, please give me a call.  It’s not too late to be in a new home before the New Year!