Tips to help winterize your home

tipsYes, we live in Florida and although it’s not often we see the temperature drops below freezing, it does and we want you to be prepared. When the temperature drops you aren’t the only one that gets cold. Take a look our your window and you’ll see cars having trouble starting, stray dogs and cats desperately looking for a warm place to cuddle up and even plants shivering for some extra sunshine. Well, it may come as a surprise to you, but even your home can get cold. If you aren’t careful, the winter months can wreak havoc on your household. When the temperature takes a dip winterizing your home is the best way to prevent damage and protect your home from the harsh cold weather.

Sure, Floridians aren’t faced with blizzards and icy streets, but Jacksonville does get its fair share of cold weather. If you aren’t careful, a single cold snap can leave you with expensive home repairs.

Here are a few tips we have for keeping your home safe on the coldest nights of the year:

  • Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris. During a hard freeze, clogged gutters can freeze over and potentially cause a leak.
  • If there are existing leaks in your home, now is the time to fix them. In addition to causing trouble in the rain, leaks will eat up your heating costs during the winter.
  • Look into insulation opportunities. Use rubber hosing to repair any miss fitting doors and apply solar film to your windows providing add extra insulation.
  • Check your HVAC system and heat pump. Make sure that your heating system is ready to go before the first cold snap hits.
  • If you have a chimney in your home, now is the time to get it cleaned. Make sure the flue damper isn’t stuck and have chimney swept so that smoke and grime don’t fill your home when you use the chimney for the first time this year.
  • Turn your ceiling fans clockwise, which will cause them to push air down. This tip is important because hot air rises, so to keep your home warmer you’ll want the fan recirculating that air downwards. Typically, fans run counterclockwise in the summer to help keep your home cool.
  • If your home’s water pipes are exposed at any point, outside, in your garage, or even in the crawl space under your house, then it is a good idea to wrap them. Wrapping the pipes will help prevent the pipe from bursting. Remember, pipes are at an increased risk of bursting when the weather drops.