[A previous version of this post was published in February 2017. Winterizing is still a good idea every year.]
As a homeowner one of the tasks you probably dread the most, especially if you live in a harsh environment, is making sure your home and property are ready for winter weather. Although homeowners in the more temperate areas of the country don't have to deal with as much as others, a harsh winter can take a toll nonetheless.
The storms and blizzards this season caught many homeowners off guard and now there are repairs to be made, things that still need to be put away safely, and probably a growing list of junk items to be hauled away.
Although most folks probably planned for these tasks to be done before the snow and ice hit, it's never too late to properly prepare your home - even during the winter.
Save Money and Be Safer with Proper Winterizing
Along with some simple steps to help your pipes and gutters, winterizing the inside of your home can provide some significant savings in both repair bills and energy bills. In many parts of the country, the freezing weather has already wreaked havoc on property maintenance and driven up home heating costs.
But now that it is the middle of winter already, where should you start, and what can still be done?
This handy infographic offers a quick checklist of nine things you can still do to winterize your home:
Routine Tips to Help During Winter
Even if you live in a region already hard hit by the weather, you'll certainly benefit for the rest of the season by taking some of these steps now. Keep in mind that your safety comes before home safety and accomplishing the task. Be careful, take precautions, and don't risk injury or property damage when considering these tasks.
With that, here are some additional money-saving tips for winter weather preparation.
Cleaning Your Gutters
All the leaves and grime that keep building up in your gutters can lead to repeatedly clogged gutters and drains. Depending on where you live, the freezing rain and snow can form ice dams that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. Left undone, this can lead to water seeping into your home, which can lead to major repair issues.
Make a point of cleaning your gutters and drains as often as you can. When you do, check your gutters for misalignments that could also cause water damage. If you haven't already, you can still add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least three to four feet away from the foundation of your home.
Stopping Cold Air Leaks
Air leaks in your home will allow warm air to escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder, costing you more for heating the house. By adding or replacing weather-stripping around doors, you can minimize or prevent this from happening. Properly sealed doors means you cannot see any daylight from inside the doors.
Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between fixed components like door frames and use weather-stripping to seal moving fixtures like an operable window. Check the joints in window and door frames, and use silicone caulk for exterior use since it won't shrink and it’s impervious to the elements.
Tune-up Your Furnace
Your furnace may be working overtime this year and the costs could be going up, as well. It's not too late to clean your system and get it inspected.
If you don't want to do it yourself, you can hire a pro. A technician can inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and running properly. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage. Also, during the winter you should change your filter regularly since a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency.
Cleaning and Sealing Your Ducts
Homes with central heating can lose about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system. If you are seeing dust on surfaces in your house soon after you just dusted and cleaned, it's a good sign that your air ducts need cleaning. Another sign the ducts need cleaning is if you see dark lines under doors or around air ducts. Make sure your ducts are in order by properly sealing and insulating them.
It is estimated that homeowners lose 25 to 40 percent in additional energy costs due to inefficient heating, according to the U. S. Department of Energy. In the winter season, you can definitely benefit from added efficiency. In fact, properly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by over $100 on average.
Do It Yourself or Hire Professionals?
Fortunately, much of winterizing your home you can do yourself. However, there are some tasks, such as chimney cleaning or roof inspections, that are better left to the professionals. While this may cost more than the DIY option, the convenience and personal safety are worth it. As is the peace of mind knowing that these tasks have been done properly.
Winter junk hauling is also something you could do yourself, but this can require a truck and possibly some extra hands. In addition, you will have the costs for gas and disposal fees to pay for. And then there is the possibility that you may not be able to dispose of everything in your local landfill.
Not to mention all the work and dealing with the winter weather. Hiring a professional firm really is a better option when it comes to junk hauling in winter.
The Choice for Your Winter Junk Hauling
Once you decide to outsource the junk hauling part of your winterizing project, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job. And while you can certainly find plenty of guys with trucks willing to do the job, choosing that alternative may end up costing you more than you hoped to save. This is why Junk King really is the firm of choice.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly waste disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete. Whether you need our services several times during a project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.
Our team specializes in commercial and residential junk removal. We can be at your home in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick-up. Recycling is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.