Is It Necessary to Winterize a Home in Austin?
Thankfully, we Austinites tend to spend our winters in somewhat the same way we spend the rest of the year — hiking the Greenbelt, dining al fresco (albeit with heat lamps), and taking in the sights — without the weather affecting our fun. Still, we do experience cold bouts and sometimes see freezing temperatures and ice during the later winter months.
When it’s finally time to trade your T-shirt for a coat and scarf, it’s also time to make sure your home is outfitted against the cold. Read on for our handy checklist to prepare your home for the winter and make sure you keep the heat inside.
Clean Your Gutters
With rain, hail, and even the occasional snow, Austin winters can be the enemy of your roof. That’s why it’s so important to check the gutters. By making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters, you’ll help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming during the winter, which will also allow melting snow and rain to drain properly.
You’ll want to inspect your roof (or have a professional do it for you) to look for broken, curled, or missing shingles; it’s also important to check for clogged valleys, damaged flashing, or deteriorated spots. Clear away any leaves, branches, or accumulated mud to prevent clogging. Finally, during a particularly rough winter, check your attic and/or ceiling for water leakage.
Protect Your Pipes
Nothing is worse than waking up to frozen pipes in the morning. Fortunately, defending against this couldn’t be easier. During severe temperature drops (below 30° F), keep a very light stream of water running in a few faucets to prevent freezing and bursting.
Check Your Thermostat
Paradisa’s digital thermostats make it easy to keep your home cozy and efficient throughout the changing of the seasons. During the winter, you can customize your heating for one temperature when you’re at home and another when you’re away or asleep.
In addition to keeping your home comfortable, this also benefits your electricity bill. The US Department of Energy says that you can save 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s thermostat during the winter.
Test Your Fire Detectors
Home fires are more common during the winter months, especially in December and January. This makes it extremely important to make sure all your smoke detectors are in working order. For peace of mind, add a smart phone alert to check them once each month and replace the batteries as needed.
Replace Your HVAC Filters
This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your heating system is performing at its peak. After all, a dirty filter with trapped dust, pollen, or lint obstructs airflow, which means your furnace has to run longer to heat your home. Make sure to replace your filters every three months so that it can run as efficiently as possible.
Rotate the Direction of Your Fans
Want to keep your home’s temperature as cozy as possible this winter? When you turn your ceiling fan in the clockwise direction, it moves the warm air trapped at the very top of the room in a downward direction. This makes the room warmer, and also allows you to lower your thermostat.
Paradisa Homes: A Leader of New Homes in Austin
No matter what time of year you decide to move into your new home, we’re here to help. Whether you’re looking for a semi-custom home or one that’s move-in ready, we’ll make the home buying experience as smooth and simple as possible for you. Contact us today so we can help you find the space that inspires your truest sense of home sweet home.