As most of the U.S. is bearing the wrath of the polar vortex, we can count ourselves lucky as Floridian’s that our winter has been mild. That’s not to say we don’t need to prepare our homes for the occasional freezing temperatures. We’re discussing three easy projects you can do around the house that will help “winterize” your Florida home!
Arguably the most important part of protecting your home (and wallet) from colder temperatures is proper insulation. As much as 7 percent to 12 percent of a home’s heating loss occurs around windows and doors. Ideally, homeowners would update insulation in the fall before the cooler weather sets in, but there are easy ways to ensure your home is insulated. Replacing or installing weather stripping on entries to your home will help cut down on the amount of warm air you are letting escape.
It’s also possible to add insulation to exterior finished walls, although that is pricey and not as cost effective as insulating unfinished spaces like attics or basements. This type of project borders on the fence of DIY. It’s probably best to hire a professional to complete the job. Adding insulation to an attic, for instance, will help to reduce air leaks and increase water heating efficiency.
Prepare pipes for freezing water
Although we don’t have to worry about bursting pipes as frequently as Northerners do, it’s still important to prepare these as frozen and burst pipes account for some of the most expensive repairs in the home. As a rule of thumb, if the first six feet of plumbing coming from the water heater is exposed, insulate it. This will help the water heat up faster at the tap. It’s also a good idea to insulate piping running through some of those unoccupied spaces, such as the attic, crawl space or outside walls to reduce its exposure to cooler temperatures.
Make your air conditioning and heating unit efficient
One of the simplest ways to prep your home for winter is by replacing the AC filters. Using an old AC filter causes inefficiency and can drive up your utility cost. It’s recommended to change them every three months. Another easy way to improve heating and air flow in your home are to change your fans to rotate clockwise. Running your fans at a low speed will pull cool air up, which will help save you in heating costs.
If you have any questions about winter maintenance projects or homeowners insurance, reach out to us. If you’re looking to learn more about homeowners insurance in Orlando, we're here to help! Harrell Agency Services is proud to be your go-to insurance agent in Central Florida. Call or visit us on Facebook to learn more about our services.