We’ve officially entered November and temperatures are slowly dropping. As locals will tell you, Virginia weather is often unpredictable year to year, so it’s crucial to be prepared for all conditions.
As the colder season approaches, it’s time to winterize your Hampton Roads home to ensure your home stays safe and cost-effective until warmer weather returns.
Here are some tips on how to winterize your Hampton Roads home and prepare for a safe, warm winter season.
Protect your Plumbing
As colder weather moves in your Hampton Roads home’s pipes can easily become stressed, and even the most seemingly insignificant leak can freeze and instigate long-term damage. If you have older pipes, check these more strictly as they’re more likely to experience cracks and leaks.
Boarding up your vacation home until springtime? Check to make sure all water lines are emptied and water and gas are turned off before you leave for the season.
These precautions may seem extreme in the moment, but being proactive about winterizing your home can save you a great deal of financial hardship later on, as well as ensuring your family’s safety.
Inspect your fireplace & furnace
If it’s been a while since you’ve serviced your furnace, now is the time to call an HVAC professional to clean your ducts. While you’re at it, call a chimney sweep to help remove soot and other debris from your fireplace.
You can also install a cap or screen on the top of your chimney to prevent any rodents or birds seeking warmth in the winter.
If you’re planning on potentially selling your Hampton Roads home when the warm weather returns, addressing these small issues now can also save you the headache of dealing with them later - when you’re preparing to list your home.
Make Outdoor Improvements
When winterizing your Hampton Roads home, don’t forget the exterior! Trim back any low-hanging branches near electrical wires or the entrance to your home for safety purposes. It’s always helpful to get a gardener’s advice when it comes to pruning trees to prevent any injury in wintertime, and ensuring sensitive potted plants are moved indoors.
Just in case, it can’t hurt to make sure your winter-specific outdoor equipment is tuned up and ready for any incoming weather. Replace any worn out rakes and snow shovels, and consider investing in a few bags of ice-melt or sand.
Update Your Emergency Kit
Now 's the time to prepare for the seasonal turnover, and this includes your household's emergency kit. Check that your Hampton Roads home is fully equipped with plenty of blankets, batteries, lighters, water bottles, non-perishables, and an up-to-date first aid kit.
Once your emergency kit has been upgraded, store it in a dry location that's easy for your family to access. Although it's not always top of mind, making the effort to set your family up for safety in an emergency situation is crucial.
Don't Get Drafty
Drafts from cracks in windows and doors account for 5-30% of all household energy loss. If you’re dealing with aging windows, don’t worry - take the following precautions to ensure your Hampton Roads home stays draft-free and warm this winter.
- Place a rolled up towel by the bottom of your outside doors to seal out cool air
- Tape bubble wrap to your windows to trap air pockets
- Caulk any visible gaps that could be bringing in the cold
Learn Your Thermostat
Setting the right winter temperature is crucial for keeping heating costs low in your Hampton Roads home this winter. Even one degree of difference can save you between 1-3% on your upcoming heating bill.
If your thermostat is out of date, consider switching to one with programmable settings so you can plan for the changing seasons and set different temperatures according to your unique schedule.
lower your water heater
If you haven’t looked at your home’s water heater lately, it might still be on its default setting - which is often 20 degrees warmer than necessary. Most households are comfortable with a setting of 120 degrees, and changing your water heater to reflect this can make a huge difference in energy costs.
It might seem a bit unnecessary, but spending a bit of extra time and taking control of your home can make a significant difference in terms of long-term safety and energy usage. By winterizing your Hampton Roads home this winter, you’ll be protecting your family and your wallet so you can welcome spring with ease.
Have questions about buying or selling Hampton Roads homes this winter? Connect with Chandler Realty today for expert advice and quality assistance.