Unfortunately the cold weather is starting to make its way into the Pittsburgh region again, and with it comes a number of things you need to prepare for if you own a house in Pittsburgh. Today’s article will be brief, but hopefully useful. We’ve compiled a list of household chores to complete before winter officially starts. Keeping up with these routine maintenance items will save you money in the long run, and make your house more comfortable this winter.
6 Tips for Winterizing your Pittsburgh Home
- Change your furnace filter: Regular furnace maintenance is a must for all homeowners. If you have a company that does a yearly check for you then you are one step ahead! If not, be sure to at least change the filter in your furnace to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible this winter. Having a clean filter means that your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard each time it kicks on, meaning that your energy bill will be lower than it would with a dirty filter.
- Clean your gutters: Fall in Pittsburgh is my favorite season, but after the leaves change color they fall off and clog your gutters! It’s important to clear out your gutters heading into winter, as blocked gutters can be very damaging when snow and ice begin to melt. Specifically, blocked gutters will cause melted snow and ice to surpass your gutter system and drip down the side of your house. This is potentially damaging to brick, siding, and even your foundation depending on the amount of runoff that comes from the roof. That said, make sure you get all the leaves out before the first snow this year.
- Door draft guards: Installing draft guards on your doors and windows is another great way to save on energy costs this winter. Gaps at the bottom of your door can let in an excessive amount of cold air, which not only makes you and your family uncomfortable, but it also causes your furnace to kick on more frequently. For a few dollars, this is a no-brainer. Install them on all your exterior doors today.
- Window insulation film: In addition to doors being a source of lost heat in the winter, windows can be another source of warm air leaving your house. This is particularly true for old houses with single pane glass windows. If you don’t want to spend the money to get new energy efficient windows, insulation film is a great option. You can find this film at Lowe’s or Home Depot and it’s easy to install. Even though it goes up over your windows, the amount of light coming in isn’t affected.
- Disconnect outside hoses: Gardening season is over! Remove any hoses attached to outside faucets and make sure the faucet is completely turned off. Leaky faucets or water left in the hose will freeze and cause damage to the house and/or your hose.
- Insulate your pipes: This one may not be necessary for everyone, but it’s particularly important if your house has pipes in an unconditioned space. For example, water pipes running through the basement can commonly freeze if there is no heat source in the basement. This is a simple project and can truly save you thousands of dollars. A burst water pipe can lead to significant flooding, which means insurance claims and lost property. Rather than go through that process, stop into your local hardware store and ask them what they recommend for insulating pipes.
Do you Need to Sell Your Pittsburgh House this Winter?
Is your Pittsburgh home going to be vacant this winter? Are you worried about high utility costs and potential property damage? If winterizing your Pittsburgh home sounds like too much, now may be a good time to sell your house if you were already considering it. If you own a rental property in Pittsburgh and want to sell it this winter, fill out our form on this page or give us a call today at 412-785-7928. We can close on your house fast before the cold weather REALLY hits!