How to Winterize your Home

Fall is here and as the winter in Chicago approaches it’s time to think about how to winterize your Jacobs Companies home. At The Jacobs Companies, we want to share some helpful tips on how to keep the winter cold outside. Home winterization is essential to keeping heating and energy costs down. Take a look at some things you can do to save a lot of money on future costly repairs and prepare your home for the colder months to come.

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Servicing Furnaces and Ductwork

  • Check house thermostat for any malfunctions.
  • Replace old models to new digital programmable model.
  • Replace furnace filter as scheduled (times may vary)
  • Check your pilot light to make sure it is lit
  • Turn on furnace and blower to make sure it ignites
  • Check for mold, dirt and dust in ducts
  • Be aware of breaches in taping and connecting pieces.

Inspecting Fireplaces, Wood Stoves and Chimneys

  • If your home has a wood burning stove or fireplace, inspect chimney for birds nest, leaves, or any blockage.
  • Place screen and chimney cap over the top of the chimney to prevent future problems.
  • Clean and remove any creosote and ash buildup.
  • Inspect connections between the stove and the existing wall.

Weatherproofing Your House Exterior

  • Remove all leaves and unsalvageable vegetation from your property
  • Replace any damaged windows
  • Remove window mounted air conditioner units
  • Inspect for any gaps and holes in exterior walls potentially leading to home interior
  • Be sure to inspect crawlspaces and sheds for weather vulnerability.
  • Drain water hoses and sprinkler systems
  • After cleaning your central air conditioner, allow a professional to turn it off for the winter to prevent accidental usage. Cover central air conditioning unit to protect from debris, ice, and snow.

Preparing Your Windows and Doors

  • Search for gaps around windows and door frames
  • Use weather stripping around doorways and windows
  • Replace window screens and screen doors with storm windows and storm doors
  • Use an indoor window insulator kit on your larger home windows.

Cleaning Your Gutters and Roof

  • Remove all dirt, debris, and leaves from your roof. pay close attention to pockets in your roof where debris may constantly fall. These areas may create weak spots in your roof if not maintenanced properly.
  • Look for soft areas, vent damage and hanging gutters.
  • Be certain that your gutters are free and clear. Clogged gutters may cause future damages to home

Winterizing With Insulation

  • Request a home energy audit so you can be sure your home is energy efficient. An assessment can save you a significant amount of money over time and will show you problems that need to be corrected.
  • Make sure your house is well insulated (Older homes tend to need more insulation attention)

 Interior Weatherization and Safety

  • Seal and insulate electrical outlets leading outside.
  • Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Reverse ceiling fans

 

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