On September 30, 2015

Get your home winter ready with 5 projects

Submitted

A bit of extra measure in home prep can keep your winter from being a nightmare with unexpected projects.

(MS) — If boots, a warm hat and a tuned-up snow blower are the only items on your winter preparation list, your home maintenance plan may need a makeover. These simple home maintenance projects can help lower your energy bills, prevent more costly repairs and/or increase the lifespan of your home.

Heating and ventilation — Examine your fireplace and chimney system to ensure that no soot or creosote has collected. Any cracks or voids could potentially cause a fire. Before you turn the furnace or boiler on, replace the air filter and hire a professional to inspect the unit more thoroughly. These steps will improve the efficiency and life of your furnace and will ensure stable indoor air quality.

Seal windows and doors — If not properly sealed, windows and doors can be a major culprit for heat loss. To keep the warm air inside, inspect the weather-stripping around your home’s windows and doors for leaks, rot or decay. Repair or replace structural framing, and caulk inside and out, if necessary.

Insulate well — One of the easiest and most effective defenses against heat loss is proper insulation. Prevent cold drafts from entering and the loss of heated air through basement headers, which, when left exposed, can make your furnace work harder. Look for a moisture-resistant product offering high thermal performance, such as Roxul Comfortbatt insulation. This type of mineral wool insulation makes installation simple. All that’s needed is a serrated blade or bread knife. Cut the batt to fit the cavity and press into place. The insulation will help improve energy efficiency as soon as it’s in place and provide savings over the lifetime of your home. It can also be used to top or replace old attic insulation. Aim for an R-50 or a depth of 16 inches.

Backyard care — Save your property from potential damage by trimming overgrown trees and shrubs to prevent ice-laden branches from thrashing against electrical wires and your home’s exterior. Drain/shut off any exterior faucets and sprinkler systems to prevent freezing. Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems.

Roof and gutters — Inspect your roof for shingles that are warped, damaged or even missing to prevent a future leak. Use roofing cement and a caulking gun to seal joints where water could penetrate, such as around the chimney, skylights or vent pipes. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are securely fastened. Downspouts should extend at least five feet away from the home to prevent flooding.

When it comes to preventative maintenance, a little time and effort can save thousands in energy costs and repair bills over the lifetime of your home.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

New plants available at Spring Plant Sale at Woodstock Union HS/MS Greenhouse

May 1, 2024
May 1-31—WOODSTOCK—The spring plant sale at the Woodstock Union HS/MS, 100 Amsden Way, Woodstock Greenhouse, will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on school days, with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Monday, May 6. Changes this year include sourcing all plants from a neonicotinoid-free nursery and featuring many native plants available this spring,…

Study: Vermont’s cigarette use has declined

April 10, 2024
Rates of vaping and use of flavored products by increased  Newly released data from the Dept. of Health on March 26 show that cigarette use among adult Vermonters is decreasing, but the number of adults who use e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, continues to rise. The 2022 Adult Tobacco Survey found that nearly one-quarter of…

Billings Farm & Museum Hosts 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition: A Celebration of Rural Artistry

April 3, 2024
WOODSTOCK—Billings Farm & Museum is bringing the rural artistry of barn quilts to our scenic site for the 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition from April 4 – December 1.  Barn quilting recreates the concept of quilt squares on durable mediums such as plywood. These squares, starting at 4 feet by 4 feet and up, feature striking…

The eclipses through Indigenous lenses

April 3, 2024
Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m.—BRANDON— Peggie “White Buffalo Moon” Rozell will speak about how Indigenous people have thought about eclipses at The Brandon Inn, 20 Park St., at 2 p.m. Sunday. Rozell is a member of the Abenaki and Cherokee people but will also talk about how Navajo, Iroquois and Mohawk people have considered…