It’s getting cold in Denver. Follow these ten easy steps to keep the cold out and protect your home from freezing temperatures.
1. Clean Gutters: At some point after all the leaves around your home have fallen and before temperatures get really low you’ll want to clean all of the debris out of your gutters to prevent roof damage, damming, flooding and heavy icicles.
2. Remove Window Air Conditioners: Be sure to remove any window air conditioning units so you can shut your windows and keep the cold air out. Clean units before storing them away until next summer.
3. Disconnect and Clean Evaporative Coolers: Unplug the electricity and disconnect and drain the water line. Be sure to empty any remaining water and clean debris from the unit before putting on your cooler’s cover.
4. Drain Your Sprinkler System: Drain all of the water from your hoses. If your sprinkler system is underground you’ll need to use an air compressor to carefully blow out any remaining water, any water left in the system will freeze and may damage your system.
5. Turn Off Exterior Faucets: Locate the interior shut off valves for your exterior faucets. Turn off the water inside first and then open the exterior valves to let all the remaining water out before turning those off as well. Add foam faucet covers for extra protection against freezing temperatures.
6. Wrap Up Your Water Heater: Putting a fiberglass cover on your water tank can save you 4-9% on your heating bill. But make sure you don’t block the air intakes or exhaust vents on gas water heaters.
7. Clean Your Furnace: Make sure your furnace is working properly by having it serviced every couple of years. Be sure to replace filters at least every three months or every month if you have pets or allergies.
8. Chimneys: If you have a working fireplace you’ll want to have your chimney cleaned and the flues inspected for tears and damage that could create a fire hazard. If you have a non-working fireplace consider installing a chimney balloon to block heat from escaping up the chimney.
9. Lower Water Temperatures: Most heaters are set to 140F which can take a lot of energy to maintain in the winter months. If you lower the temp to 120F you probably won’t notice much difference and you’ll lower your water heating costs by 6-10%.
10. Caulk It: If you can feel a draft of cold air seeping through your windows and doors you may want to use a foam sealant or caulk to fill in any holes that allow cold air into your home. Caulk works best around windows while foam does better in larger cracks not directly exposed to water or sunlight.