Getting Ready for Winter in Pennsylvania

winter heatingSince winter will always come in a year, you have to put in some time to get ready for it. For those living in Pennsylvania, there is more reason to be considering the fact that the cold season can be very ruthless. Getting your home winterized is important to make sure the level of warmth and comfort inside is still there, thereby protecting you and your family from the harsh and even deadly cold.

So here are some valuable tips in getting ready for winter:

1 – Cleaning the Gutters

As soon as the leaves start falling in autumn, you need to remove them and other debris especially when they thrive in the gutters. This is quite a necessity considering that rain and melting snow don’t have any other way to go down than in the gutters. Keep in mind that clogged gutters are never a good sign because they lead to the formation of ice dams and eventually result to leaking. Also, don’t forget about misaligned pipes and leaks.

2 – Block the Leaks

Winterizing your home means blocking tangible leaks all around the house. Leaks can be found both inside and out. You may think small leaks do no harm. But when you actually measure and combine them, they can account for about a nine-square-foot hole. Now that’s a big leak! Obviously, you need to find them first.

3 – Give the Furnace Some Attention

Furnace cleaning and maintenance is a vital part of getting ready for the winter. You first have to turn the furnace one. Try to see if it is working. Be reminded that if you smell an odd and strong but short-lasting odor, it is a natural occurrence when firing up the furnace. To dissipate the smell, you can open the windows. However, if in case the smell seems to last a little longer or if it stays there, what you need to do is shut down the furnace and immediately call a heating system expert.

Additionally, it is highly recommended that you clean and tune your furnace annually, and it has to be done right before the winter season arrives. Doing so will mostly cost you around $100 but it sure is worth it considering the fact that you’re going to have a more efficient heating system.

4 – Ducts

The U.S. Department of Energy Revealed that for homes that use central heating, there is a chance that they lose about 50% of heated air even before it reaches the vents. This happens when the ducts aren’t ideally connected and insulated. So if you can’t get your ducts in a row, you’re actually wasting a lot of money spent on energy bills.

Although ducts aren’t easy to access and see, you can still see them in the basement, crawlspaces, and the attic. Look for areas where pipes and pinched and do the necessary repairs. Likewise, air ducts have to be vacuumed, but it has to be done once in two years or more. The purpose is to get rid of the collection of debris including dust, hair, dirt, and others.

5 – Insulation

Insulation won’t cost you that much but it is a crucial component of getting ready for the winter. What has to be done is add more insulation to your existing one in the attic. The standard requirement is about twelve inches of insulation in the attic.

6 – Windows

If you have window screens at home, you need to take them down in time for winter. Instead, place storm windows, which by the way are designed to put an extra layer of protection against winter storms. Also, storm windows trap in heat so it gets you warm.

7 – Consider the Chimney

Most homeowners believe that chimney maintenance is ideally done during spring. This is because during the fall, the chimney sweeps are quite busier. But it’s really up to the homeowner. The most important thing though is to clean it right before winter comes by.

8 – Reverse the Fan

Yes it may be a minor tip, but most people don’t know about it. The process of reversing the direction of the fan from its usual operation will push the warm air downward, which then forces it to re-circulate. As a result, you will get warm air for added comfort from your ceiling farm.

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