Q: Which 6 Tips Will Help Winterize Your Home?

Here are some simple ways you can get your home ready for winter.

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Fall is a lovely time of year, but it always seems to vanish in the blink of an eye. Here’s how homeowners can prepare now for the Alaska winter that will soon be upon us: 

1. Clean your gutters. Toward the end of the winter, clogged gutters can lead to ice damming, which is awful. Now’s the time to get up there and clean them out, and maybe install some gutter guards to prevent leaves and other debris from piling up. Using a hose, running an air compressor, or doing it by hand all are perfectly fine cleaning methods. If you’re not comfortable working up in those higher areas, please contact a contractor. 

2. Caulk around your window frames. Any air escaping through cracks or faulty seals can be remedied quickly by caulking around the frames. It’s an inexpensive fix that can help you save money each month on energy costs. Also, be sure to check for cracks or openings around your doors and in your walls. 

3. Inspect your heating system. Before you start cranking up the thermostat, have a boiler tech come out to take a look at your system. Whether you have hot water baseboards, a forced-air furnace, or radiant floor heating, it’s important to identify any issues before you have to start combatting rapidly dropping temps. Make sure that your carpet or furnishings aren’t inhibiting the circulation of warm air throughout the house.

Thick curtains are great for trapping heat, but keep them open in the daytime to reduce frost build-up.

4. Ramp up insulation. Poor insulation is especially common in older homes, so check to see if it’s time to add insulation to your walls or attic space. Insulating the attic is cheaper, but tackling your walls on the exterior and interior will dramatically reduce your heating costs. 

5. Clean out your wood stove and chimney. If you have a pellet stove, have it professionally cleaned (unless you know how to do it yourself). Remove any debris or build-up you see in there. If you do have a professional come out for a cleaning, have them teach you how to do it; the goal is to clean your stove several times a year. 

6. Use your curtains. Thick curtains are an easy way to keep heat inside your home and avoid drafts through the windows, but be smart about it; close them at night and open them during the day so warm air can circulate better and melt the frost. The last thing you want to do is let a large amount of frost accumulate on your windows and permeate your window frame and drywall when it melts. 

As always, if you have further questions about this or any homeownership topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly by phone or email. We’d love to help you. Don’t forget to follow the links on this page to get a complimentary home value report or get more information on your home search.

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