A Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Preparing your home for South Dakota’s winter season is always a good idea. Restoration RX is here today to provide you with a checklist of things you can do to get ready for colder weather and make the shorter days safer for your home and more bearable your family.

Install A Better Heating System

Upgrading your heater to a more energy-efficient model will save on heating costs and ensure that, when the temperatures drop, your home remains cozy. Whether you upgrade your furnace, install new floor heat, baseboards or a hot water heating system, your family will thank you. Keep in mind that programmable thermostats provide the control you need, even when you’re not at home!

Introduce Humidity

Winter air is drier and, because our homes are closed up, the inside air can become charged with static electricity. Ideally, the humidity level of indoor air should be between 30% and 50%. Anything over 50% can lead to mold growth, and anything under 30% can result in dry skin and sinus problems. It can even cause wood to dry out. Improper humidity levels can make your furnace work harder, which will add to heating costs over the course of the winter.

Check Attic Insulation & Ventilation

Poor insulation in your attic may cost a fortune in lost heat. According to  U.S. Department of Energy estimates, proper attic insulation can reduce your heating bills by 10% to 15% each month.

Insulation and ventilation go hand in hand. Without proper ventilation, moisture can build up in your attic, wrecking insulation and causing building materials to rot. Additionally, a poorly ventilated attic can create ice dams on your roof, backing up ice and water and resulting in extensive damage you to home.

Inspect Doors and Windows

Cracks in and around doors and windows allow heat to escape. If your window glass is cracked or broken, have it repaired as soon as possible to avoid heat loss and increased energy bills. If repairs aren’t possible, adding a window insulation kit will make a difference. Be sure to have the problem fixed when the weather warms up again. Adding insulated drapes will also help trap heat inside.

Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan

Most ceiling fans have a small switch on them to reverse the direction the blades turn. Hot air rises, which pushes it up toward your home’s ceiling. Changing your ceiling fan blades to turn clockwise will push that accumulated warm air back down, where it can be enjoyed by your family.

Check Stairs and Porches

Inspect the handrails and steps of your home’s entry to be certain they are stable. Snow and ice make these areas slippery at times, and it’s important that people have something secure to grab on to.

Outdoor Lighting

Check the outdoor lighting in your yard, especially near walkways; this will help people see ice and snow, hopefully saving them from slips and falls.

Disconnect Garden Hoses from Spigots

Be sure your garden hose is disconnected from your outdoor spigot. Left attached, water will pool inside the hose and freeze. This can ruin both the spigot and hose. Additionally, water may back up inside your home and lead to widespread damage.

Call the Experts in Home Inspections

It’s not too late to take a few precautions to ensure you home and family are safe and comfortable this winter. If you’d like to learn more about how to best prepare your South Dakota home for winter, Restoration RX would be happy to perform a home inspection for you. Please call us today to learn more!