Are you ready for winter in Portland? We know it might feel like summer has just begun, but before you know it, snow will be flying. In the past decade, our winters have gone from mild to wild, with extreme and unpredictable weather becoming the new norm. That's why homeowners need to prepare early if they want to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws their way!
Here are some tips to help keep your Portland home (and your sanity through the winter) running smoothly:
Keep the Heat… IN
Assess Windows and Doors for a Tight Seal: Check all windows and doors around your house for any drafts that may let cold air in, including caulking around window frames and sealing cracks and other openings. This will also help to reduce energy costs by keeping warm air inside.
Schedule the Furnace and Vents for a Tune-up: To ensure maximum efficiency, have a professional inspect your ducted heat pump, HVAC system, boiler, furnace, and other sources of heat throughout your home before the temperature drops too low. This will help to make sure your heating systems are in good working order.
Upgrade Your Thermostat: Consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can be set to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on the time of day or season. This can help you save money on energy costs and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the winter.
Check Your Insulation: The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homeowners have their insulation inspected at least once a year to ensure it is fully functioning and helping to keep your home insulated — groan, we know. But, it’s necessary!
Winterize Faucets: To prevent freezing, be sure to winterize all external faucets by turning off the water supply and draining any hoses attached to them. Also check for any plumbing problems such as leaks, which should be repaired before the temperatures dip too low.
Keep the Cold… OUT
Roof Care: Inspect your roof for any cracked or broken shingles that may need to be replaced, as well as signs of water damage around chimneys and other areas. You should also check for ice damming, which occurs when melting snow re-freezes at the edge of a roof and causes water to accumulate behind it. Ice damming can cause significant damage if left unchecked.
Clean Gutters: Clean your gutters and downspouts to keep them free of debris before winter temperatures arrive. This will help prevent ice buildup and potential flooding from melting snow.
Trim Trees: Ensure that trees are properly trimmed of dead or damaged limbs. This will help protect your property against potential winter storms, as well as make sure there is no additional weight on rooflines from heavy snowfall or ice accumulation.
Outdoor Lighting & Furniture: Cold weather can put an extra strain on lightbulbs so it pays to check them periodically and replace any that are not working with bulbs specifically designed for cold weather conditions. In addition to checking your outdoor lights, it’s also important to store away patio furniture and protect any outdoor pots or planters from winter weather. Make sure they are either stored away in a shed or garage or covered up with protective tarps or blankets if left outside.
HOT tip! Remove Window Screens: Hear us out… remove screens from windows during the colder months in order to improve solar heat gain and let in more natural light. This will help make your living space feel brighter and warmer while saving on energy costs as well!
By taking a few precautionary steps now, you can help ensure that your home is well-maintained and running smoothly throughout the winter months. Taking care of regular maintenance tasks like these can help to save you money on energy bills and prevent costly repairs down the line.
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