With the first Winter cold front in the books, it is important to remember some basic housekeeping tips to keep your home warm and cozy without breaking the bank. Atlanta is notorious for its ideal climate but sometimes we can get a little spoiled when temperatures drop into the 30’s and below.
Perhaps the most well-known and widespread tip is to protect your pipes when temperatures threaten to drop below zero. When water freezes it expands creating pressure in the pipes and they can burst as a result often causing extensive damage. Letting your faucets drip keeps water flowing ever so slightly but can work to ensure there is not a buildup of pressure. It can also be beneficial to leave cabinet doors open so warmer air can access the pipes and keep the temperature from reaching freezing. There are also products on the market available for purchase such as heat tape and pipe insulation designed to keep temps warmer than freezing.
One of the easiest ways to bleed money in the winter is not having your doors and windows sealed properly. This causes your heating system to work overtime and leaves you with a hefty bill when all is said and done. There are companies that can be hired to come evaluate your home for drafts but a more budget friendly approach exists as well. From the interior of your house, light a candle or long match and walk around to the windows and doors in your home. If there are drafts present, your candle will be blown out and you know you’ve detected a problem area. Local hardware stores sell weather-stripping materials and by installing them you will save a noticeable amount on your utility bill.
Another potentially hazardous winter obstacle is dead branches and root systems in your trees. The cooler temperatures can bring ice and snow making branches much heavier and more susceptible to breaking off from the tree. If above your home, they can cause extensive damage to the roof and windows. Having your trees checked out by an arborist if you have a suspicion that they are not in the best health can help prevent the headache that comes with downed limbs. Roots do not adjust to freezing temperatures resulting in the tree not receiving enough nutrients and wilting and possibly dying. This can cause the entire tree to come down which is extremely hazardous, not to mention costly to remedy. BY applying mulch artificial forms of insulation, or even a layer of snow to the base of the tree will help to avoid these types of winter mishaps in your yard.
As a homeowner, make your biggest asset a priority and always feel free to reach out to your trusted realtor. In these situations, offense is the best defense and could save a lot of financial headache in the long run.