When Spring is fast approaching, we can’t help but think of how cold it is going to be. The next thing to do would probably to find out how to winterize an occupied house?
Of course, the main goal of this is to keep your home warm and save energy at the same time. After all, if you turn the heater on for a long time during Spring, you will spend a lot of money on electricity. Keep these things in mind during Spring:
Inside the house
1. Smoke detectors.
Check the battery and that they all work. Test each one. This can’t be overstated and is often overlooked.
2. Dryer vent check, clean, seal & insulate.
Pull out your dryer, disconnect the vent and remove it from your wall and dryer. Clean out the lint since it is a fire hazard.
Put the vent back on the dryer and wall
Insulate the line so it doesn’t get cold in the Winter
3. Water heater maintenance
If you drained it in the Winter then you won’t need to do it in the Spring . If you didn’t then follow these directions. the Drain the water heater at the bottom with a drain hose. It usually can go into your sump pump if it is nearby.
Make sure the water heater is set to 120 degrees.
The blanket is also good for keep the heat in the water heater Spring, Summer.
4. Replace HVAC filter.
You air filters are the cleaners for your air conditioner. If you run your A/C with a clogged filter, it won’t work correctly and will make it work overtime – and be less effective Replace your filters! Get them here on Amazon.
5. Drain waterline to outside.
You should have a water shut off valve inside your home. Turn it off so you can drain the water when you do your outside inspection.
Turn water back on exterior water valve. You probably turned it off in the Winter. Turn it on for the Spring.
6. Get a Smart thermostat that gives your phone updates.
The newer thermostats like Nest can communicate with your phone and let you know if there has been a power outage while you are away from home. This is a huge benefit in knowing and preventing problems before they become serious problems.
7. Basement & foundation inspection.
Check for any big cracks and repair as necessary. Clean the Home. Take all the trash including all the paper that is scattered around your home. How about preventing pests from crawling all over your kitchen sink, right? That can be achieved by taking out all the mess in the kitchen. Be sure to use the right all-purpose cleaners so the kitchen sink would also smell great. By putting rodent deterrent under your kitchen sink, you’re going to discourage them from getting near there.
8. Remove heavy drapes and rugs.
The purpose of rugs is not only to remove the feet off of your shoes.
9. Change the weatherstripping.
Check out the doors and see if the light goes through them. If you see even a little bit of light then it is time to replace the weatherstripping. What’s great about it is that it won’t cost you much and it will save you a lot of money in terms of energy expenses. Remember how that small hole in your door can get a lot of air to get in no matter how small it is. Thus, better do something about it right away.
10. Attic seal check.
A lot of hot air escapes your house through your attic hatch. You can put an insulating attic tent over the top of the opening. This has helped lower our electric bill.
11. Storm windows.
One way to winterize pipes is to put storm windows and doors in your home. This would be true especially if the house is pretty old. It even adds more protection as it prevents pests from entering the home. It also provides gives you a feeling of security since fewer people will be able to see what’s going on inside the house.
12. Clean door jam, remove dirt
13. Ceiling fans – Counterclockwise in Spring/Summer.
Reverse direction by flipping the black switch near the top of the fan, above the blades.
14. Emergency preparedness.
Have enough water, food and medicine in your house for at least 3 days. 7 days is best. When the ice storms hit this Winter (and it is expected to be a cold one!) you will be prepared.
Outside the house
15. Clean gutter & inspect the roof.
- You probably have some sticks, leaves in your gutter that need to be cleaned out from the Winter.
- Trim back long branches next to your house or power lines. Use a pole saw.
16. Facet & hose inspection.
- Now you can pressurize your water line. In the basement turn it on slowly until the valve is fully open and make sure there are no leaks.
- Once you are outside you should do a water test to check for the same thing –
- and that the water easily turns on and off without any issues.
- Reconnect the hose. Make sure the hose fitting is tight so there are no leaks.
17. Clean the grill.
- Clean your grill and get a grill cover.
- Grate cleaning.
- Clean the grates 1st with your grill cleaner brush and then remove them and soak them in soapy water.
- Scrub off any reside.
- Wash & dry. Set aside.
- Remove and clean the inside parts
- heat deflector
- propane gas pipes. The small holes get clogged. Use your soapy and brush to scrub off any residue from them.
- scrub with soap and water
- empty the grease trap
- clean back of the lid
- side of firebox
- clean cover lip
- dry so no water
- clean parts
- replace parts
- Don’t use aluminum foil. The advice in the past said to use aluminum foil to line the firebox. I think the aluminum foil folks had something to do with this. Hmmm.
- Weber and other grill manufacturers DO NOT recommend using aluminum foil anywhere in your grill. The great can accumulate and easily cause huge flashovers that can quickly overtake your grill.
- Again – no foil to line your grill.
- This includes – not using it over the grates. The foil can trap heat and prevent it from moving in the grill. This can overheat parts of the grill very quickly.
- Just use spray on the grates to easily flip your food and remove stuck-on food.
- Use a grill cover – to protect it and stop rust
Charcoal grills won’t have that many parts to remove. Just the grate so you should have easy access to clean the firebox.
18. Wash the deck
- Use the hose to wet the deck.
- Use a deck cleaner to remove any mildew that grew over the Winter.
19. Wash house
- Use the hose to wet the house
- Fill a 2.5-gallon lawn sprayer with a house cleaner.
- Use a ladder to reach tall areas – but make sure you are safe with the ladder.
- Have a helper hold the ladder at the bottom.
- Make sure it is properly placed and has a safe footing.
- Never go on the top rung of the ladder.
- Adjust the sprayer nozzle to get more height. It should be able to reach 15+ feet.
- Use a deck cleaner to remove any mildew that grew over the Winter.
Lawn clean up. cleanup sticks
20. Prepare lawnmower before you mow the lawn.
- clean away any leaves, grass. Give it a wash so it is clean for the season.
- change blade
- set height
- empty bag
- mow lawn
21. fertilize lawn
22. weedwack & pull weeds
- Consider natural mulch from HD or Lowes or your local hardware store. It may be in the back but has 2 cubic ft of mulch per bag where the expensive bags “on sale” have 1.5 cubic ft per bag.
- Dyed red, black or brown mulch is not good for your garden or flower bed. The dye breaks down over time. It isn’t fertilizer!
24. clean shed/garage
25. Garden / Driveway
Lower Your Energy Bill – get a Smart Thermostat
The latest thermostats adjust themselves according to the number of people that are currently in the house. For example, it makes the house cooler when nobody is in the house and warmer when a lot of people are in there. When this happens, you won’t have to turn on the heater. As a result, you will save money on the next electricity bill.
Lower the setting
The Department of Energy recommends lowering your thermostat setting to 68 degrees to save money. Just a few degrees can lower your bill when it is cold outside. Thus, why not lower the temperature of the thermostat? When you leave the house you can lower it to 64 degrees and then warm it back up an hour before you get home. Newer thermostats have multiple settings on them which allow you to have multiple settings throughout the day.
Whether your house is vacant or occupied, there are many things you can do to unWinterize it and get it ready for Spring & Summer. This would lead to saving a lot of energy expenses. Good thing, there are ways to lessen the use of that appliance. It would be terrible to rely on your heater a lot. Look around you and there are things you can fix in your home to prevent the house from getting too hot so you are ready for Summer!