6 Timely Home Winterizing Tips

6 Timely Home Winterizing Tips


With summer coming to an end, thoughts of winter are hardly being entertained as leaves begin to change, apples ripen and pumpkins are ready for the picking. Yet, by preparing for cooler weather now, you can ensure that your home remains toasty warm in the face of winter’s fury.

A federal tax credit of us much as $1500 can still be claimed if you have windows, doors and certain appliances replaced before 2010 comes to an end. Those rebates are not likely to be renewed, so take advantage of the program before it expires.

Of course, not everyone can afford to replace their windows right now, but you can make them more energy efficient even if they’re old. Indeed, you can winterize your home by taking six steps as offered by State Farm, the nation’s largest insurance company.

1. Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember – the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.

2. Heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.

3. Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

4. Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

5. Clean out your gutters. Cleaning out gutters will help prevent water from spilling over and allowing water to accumulate near the foundation, which can cause damage.

6. Consider installing a whole house leak detection system. These systems feature a shut-off valve that is installed on the main water supply pipe. When a leak is detected, the system will automatically shut off the entire water supply. For a list of leak detection systems, visit statefarm.com.

Throughout early fall, many of the hardware stores and home centers run specials on winterizing products. Check your Sunday circular or shop online for money-saving deals you can live with.

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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".