With the warm weather lingering much longer this year it can be easy to forget about the upcoming winter season. Now, with the cold snap just around the corner, it is a good time to start preparing for cold weather or even snow depending on where you live. Getting your yard and home exterior ready for winter will not only help keep your property in good working order and can also help save on utilities all winter long. We have put together some home maintenance tips that will help you get your windows, siding, and home exterior winter-ready before the freeze hits.
Get Your Home Ready For Winter: Windows & Siding
Check Your Siding
The siding on your home is the first line of protection against the elements. Think of it as a jacket on a cold day. If you have a good jacket with proper insulation, you will be able to stay warm even when it’s cold outside. The siding on your home works in the same way. If you don’t have siding, fall is the perfect time to install new siding so that you can stay warm in the winter and cut down on energy costs.
For those who already have siding on your home, it is a good idea to check for cracks, holes, rust, or any other damage that may decrease the insulation. It is important that the siding you chose be Energy Star rated, which can also help you save money due to local rebates. Vinyl siding is very low maintenance but has the benefit of being aesthetically pleasing and easy to match to your home’s current decor.
Upgrading or Replacing Your Siding
Just like anything else, the siding on the exterior of your home will wear out over time. Knowing when you need to upgrade, repair, or replace your siding is critical, especially ahead of the winter season. Start by looking at your existing siding for any warping, holes made by animals or insects, cracking or rotting along the edges.
Unusually high energy bills are also a sign that the siding is damaged or needs to be changed. It is a good idea to upgrade or change your siding at least a month before the winter season so that you can avoid high replacement costs and also manage your energy use effectively.
Check Your Windows and Doors
Roofing and siding are generally the most focused on areas when it comes to home winterization. However, your windows are just as important. Heat loss through poorly fitted or broken windows is one of the main causes of high heating bills. It is important to check each window in your home for cracks or gaps that can let in cold air.
In addition to checking the glass, check the seals around the edges for air leaks. Reapply caulk if needed. If you notice air blowing through the cracks of your windows, it may be time to consider other options. In most cases simply replacing the insulating strip between the windows is enough to restore the seal. If the whole window seems loose or lets in a draft, chances are the window frame may need to be replaced.
Upgrading or Replacing Your Windows
For those who have older single-pane windows, fall is a great time to consider an upgrade. Installing energy-efficient windows that have a high Energy Star rating will help trap heat indoors during the winter months which will also help lower your energy cost.
Double-pane windows are also aesthetically pleasing and will match just about any home style on the market today. If you already have energy-efficient windows but need repairs, the end of summer or the middle of fall is the best time to complete repairs. Many cities even offer rebates to homeowners who install or use energy-efficient windows in their homes.
Get Your Home Winter Ready Today
With winter just around the corner, it is important to get your home ready for the frost. Our easy-to-follow tips will help you prepare your windows and your siding for the winter months so you can stay comfortable and save money on heating costs all season long.
Additional Reading: Why Seal and Insulate? – Energy Star
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