MOBILE, AL (Dec. 21, 2015) – The first day of winter often gets lost is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If you haven’t had a chance to prepare your home for the extreme weather ahead, National Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford advises, “It’s not too late. There are plenty of simple, practical steps you can take to button up your home and guard against many of the problems that can result from freezing temperatures.”
Many parts of the country have already experienced extreme cold and the Farmers’ Almanac calls even more ahead, including frigid, stormy weather for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States with a considerable amount of snow. But even if your area of the country won’t see extreme temperatures, Danny offers five strategies that any homeowner can use to seal the envelope of the home, stay comfortable and maximize energy efficiency:
- Have your heating system serviced by a professional. Danny recommends having this done every year because a professional will inspect your system’s controls for safety and ensure it is operating at peak performance. For the homeowner, this translates to peace of mind, comfort and energy savings throughout the cold months.
- Add insulation to your attic. 40% of a home’s energy loss takes place in through the attic, so adding insulation will keep warm air in and lower energy bills. It will also help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof which can lead to extensive and costly damage.
- Reverse direction of ceiling fans to clockwise. This will draw warm air down and keep it circulating in the home.
- Seal everything. “Most people don’t think twice about small cracks and crevices in the home, but adding up all of those leaky spots is equivalent to having a 3’ by 3’ hole in wall,” says Danny. “Taking the time to address these areas will immediately translate into energy savings.” Caulk around windows, add or replace weather stripping and place draft seals on exterior doors. Inspect the exterior of the home and seal around any protrusions like hose bibs and vents.
- Insulate water pipes. Water traveling from the water heater will immediately lose temperature, so adding pipe insulation will help retain the heat, reduce energy use and put dollars back in your wallet. Insulated pipes are also less likely to freeze and burst during extreme cold temperatures. Danny says you can even recycle old pool noodles from summer to use as pipe insulation.
In addition to comfort and energy savings, Danny offers advice on staying safe from many of the risks that accompany colder weather. Slips and falls tend to increase in winter months, so Danny recommends adding traction to walkways and steps around the exterior of the home. The first line of defense is pre-treating these areas with a deicer to prevent ice from bonding to these surfaces. He also suggests installing self-adhesive anti-skid strips on stair treads and sprinkling sand or kitty litter on top of slick, icy areas.
Wintertime also brings an increase in home fires, so taking basic fire safety steps can help avoid disaster in your home this season. Danny says the first line of defense is having up-to-date, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home. “If your alarms are more than ten years old, it’s time to replace them,” he says. “There are some great technology-friendly options available today that offer ten-year batteries, and even remote monitoring from your smartphone. Updating these alarms is inexpensive and will go a long way toward providing peace of mind.” Additionally, Danny advises homeowners to have an annual chimney inspection, take caution using any space heaters, and to have a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
About Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford is a 36-year veteran remodeling contractor and media personality known to audiences as Host of the Emmy-nominated and nationally-syndicated home improvement TV show and nationally-syndicated radio show “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Lipford served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 160 national television appearances. Lipford has been a longtime contributor to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and BHG.com, and continues to serve as a source for hundreds of other popular magazines and news outlets each year. Visit www.AboutDannyLipford.com to learn more.
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