5 Things to Prepare Your Home for Winter

With colder and colder weather hitting us each day, a lot of us are starting to realize just how many little cold areas we have in our home. The living room window? Or maybe the back door? There are so many places that, over time, can begin to allow cold air to enter your home. We’re here to help. Use these five steps to keep your family warm this winter.

1. Check for cold air coming in from doors and windows

You can simply run your hand around the edges of a door or window that has a leak and feel the cold (or warm) air just bursting through. Granted, it may not seem like a ton (or it may), but over time the amount seeping through can add up and cause issues with the overall heating of your home. If you locate a leak around you window, it is okay to go ahead and use some caulk from you local hardware store and put a nice bead around the window. However, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, or dealing with the weather stripping around a door, you can contact your landlord for assistance.

2. Insulate outlets throughout your home

Much like windows and doors, outlets for power, internet/cable, or phones may also allow unwanted hot or cold air to enter your home. If you do the hand test by simple moving your hand slowly around the outlet feeling for hot or cold air, you will be able to tell if you need to insulate the outlet. Despite what some people may say, if you want to insulate the outlets in your home, you DO NOT want to use self-expanding foam. THIS IS A FIRE HAZARD. Do not for any reason put foam inside the outlet box. Instead, you want to visit your local hardware store and get some insulating gaskets for your outlets. They are generally universal and take only about 5 minutes to install. They simply go behind the existing outlet cover and provide a nice bit of insulation.

3. Using curtains to curb air flow

If you have an older, drafty window that seems to be leaking from the panes themselves rather than around the frame of the window, a great trick to try is using thick curtains. This will essentially absorb the cold (or warm) air entering your home. If you open the curtains during the day to let the sunlight in this will also help add some natural warmth to your home.

4. Reversing your ceiling fans

A ceiling fans works by sucking up the warm air from your home while pushing down the cold air. Essentially keeping you cooler throughout a warm day. Well what happens if you use the reverse feature on majority of household ceiling fans? This will reverse the process pushing warm air down and sucking cold air up. Over time, this will actually help the efficiency of the heating in your home.

5. Using window insulation kits

We’ve all seen these kits at the store. They usually feature a person’s hand holding a blow dryer or something of the sort. They are everywhere and most certainly in your local hardware store. If you feel like air is coming in from the window panes themselves as opposed to the area around the window you will need to find a alternative. If curtains are not an option for you, or it is simply too much air flow, you can use one of these insulation kits. They go around the entire window (on the inside) and work to trap the air in a pocket between the window and the film. SImply follow the instructions on the box.

In a world of skyrocketing electric and gas bills due to winter heating it is very important to try and take some of the simple matters in to our own hands. However, if you don’t find yourself up to completing some of these task or are simply not able do not hesitate to contact your landlord for assistance. At Buckeye Northwest Realty we are always available to assist our tenants when in need so contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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