Before cold weather comes along each winter, draft blockers will help you prepare for the season's extremes.
Not sure where to start? Follow these essential steps for blocking drafts in your home.
- Cover air conditioners. Wipe down the unit, clear debris from the surrounding area, and hose off the unit. Once it's completely dry, cover the air conditioner and turn off the water shutoff valve, if your system has one. Remove window units and store them indoors to prevent window drafts. If you can't remove your window unit, close the vents and protect it from the elements with an air conditioner cover.
- Block door and window drafts by caulking air leaks around doors and windows.
- Add more insulation if needed. If you can see the ceiling joists in your attic, you may need more insulation.
- Install storm windows and doors.
- Stop door drafts with draft stoppers or make one yourself.
In addition to draft blockers, the following tips can also help prepare your home for winter.
- Drain sprinkler systems. You can tackle this one of two ways: Remove the water using the system's drain valves, or have a professional blow the water out with a large air compressor.
- Turn off outdoor water supply. Make sure all exterior water spigots are turned off and all attached hoses or other devices are removed, drained, and properly stored.
- Insulate pipes. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing and save money on your hot water bill. Insulate by duct-taping pre-slit pipe foam (available at hardware stores) around exposed pipes in your home's crawl space or attic.
- Test your thermostat. Turn it to heat mode to make sure the furnace kicks on and blows warm air.
- Have the furnace inspected by a professional. Make sure it's in good shape to last through the winter.
- Inspect and clean your roof and gutters.
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