You may not see it on your Google Calendar, but you have a visitor coming and he’s going to stay for a while. Old Man Winter. And while the weather is still comfortable the days are getting shorter and colder temperatures are just around the corner.
This is why right now is the perfect time to winterize a home in Wisconsin to keep it more comfortable and save on utility bills through the chilly months ahead.
Now, those of us who have lived in Wisconsin for some time know all the main winterizing to-dos such as:
- Have the furnace inspected/tuned up
- Replace the furnace filter
- Check insulation levels in attics/walls for air leaks
- Install weather stripping on doors to prevent drafts
- Install weather stripping/caulk around windows (install storm windows if applicable) to prevent loss of heat
- Clean out gutters so snow can melt and flow freely away from the roof (to prevent possible damage and air leaks due to ice dams)
- Program thermostat for wake, sleeping hours, and vacations
But even so, many of us who have lived here through several winters don’t consider the following 5 winterizing tips that can make a significant impact on the comfort level of your home:
1. Reverse ceiling fans:
Most homes have ceiling fans and virtually all of them can reverse direction. Doing so draws cold air up instead of pushing it down. This will help keep your heating bill lower by making sure the hot air from your furnace stays in the room where you need it.
2. Use fans (yes fans again) to circulate warm air:
Using regular room fans throughout the home can help circulate warm air through the house and create a more consistent temperature from room to room. This is especially useful in homes with a fireplace or wood stove. In addition, you should keep your furnace’s blower on auto to help circulate warm air.
3. Seal drafts under exterior doors with door sweeps:
You’ve sealed the jams around your doors with weather stripping, and that’s great. But weather stripping the bottom of the door is generally not an option which makes it especially susceptible to drafts. Door sweeps help eliminate that cold air from continuing to invade your home once you shut the door. It’s also important to install a door sweep on your garage door(s).
4. Use steel wool to fill holes:
Inexpensive and easy to use, steel wool is an ideal material to fill holes in walls, roofs, and floors. Fire resistant and will not conduct electricity, steel wool is an excellent insulator for pesky holes that need some sealing. BONUS: This time of year, mice are starting to look for warmer habits and any crack or hole in your home provides a perfect highway for them to come and go as they please. Steel wool is an exceptional roadblock because rodents can’t chew through it (unlike wood fillers, caulk, or other sealers).
5. Inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles.
It’s easy to forget about the roof. Especially if you have a new home or just had a roof replaced. But Wisconsin is home to a variety of weather events. Strong winds, hail, and large snowfalls can damage a roof regardless of how new it is. In addition, if you live in an area with large trees around your home, make sure that branches aren’t reaching or touching your roof. Contact from branches can lessen the life of shingles and even cause damage that can result in leaks or holes. So have your roof inspected by a professional contractor to ensure there are no issues. A solid roof over your head is always a comforting thing no matter the season.
Winter can be a wonderful time to be in Wisconsin, but it does come with some challenges. By taking the winterizing steps above, you can help ensure that your home stays warm and cozy throughout the season. To learn more about how to optimize energy efficiency and lower utility bills for your home, stop by your local Chase Lumber and talk to one of our door and window experts about replacing old doors and windows with high-energy-efficient doors and windows. We offer the top brands in a significant variety of styles and functions, with the expertise to help not only keep Old Man Winter’s stay more comfortable for you but look great doing it