It’s Time to Winterize

It’s finally starting to feel like winter in Nashville. With the temperatures dropping to the low 20s in the evenings, it’s about time to start making your winterization checklist. Following through with a few easy fixes on the front end will save you the potential hassle and costly fees on the back end. These tips can be especially important if you have a house on the market throughout the winter – the last thing you want is to run into major issues when the potential owner of your home is coming to visit. So, follow our guide below to ensure you enjoy every minute of this special season.

Turn up the heat. Can you imagine being stuck in your home during a Nashville snow storm without any heat? Neither can we. After close to six months of not being used, there is a great chance that your heating unit might need servicing. Call a certified heating technician and have them inspect your furnace or heat pump. This check will include cleanliness, carbon monoxide output and general working condition.

Replace filters. A full inspection by a certified technician is not the only maintenance required during this cold season. It is important to replace or clean furnace filters at least once a month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand, which will make your electric bills higher and can potentially cause a fire. To keep track of when you replace the filters, mark a check on your monthly calendar or set a reoccurring alarm on your phone.

Stop the breeze. Get ahead of the freezing winter breeze by caulking around your windows and doors. It will only take a couple of hours and will keep your home much warmer. Weather stripping is another option, which takes less time, energy and cleanup and will achieve nearly the same results. Decreasing the cold wind entrance to your home means decreasing the amount of heat needed – keeping the gas and electric bills low through the winter months can be a major selling point when potential buyers check past records.

Run fans in reverse. Most people think of fans when they want to be cooled down. However, many ceiling fans come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades from counterclockwise to clockwise. Switching to clockwise makes the room warmer because air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space. It’s the little things that count!

Look up. After a hot summer and damp fall, it is important to check older trees surrounding your home for large limbs that may be dead or decaying. As the winter weather begins to bring in ice storms, snow and frost, the weight of these elements can easily cause branches to break and fall.
Another good habit during winterization is to check your roof for any loose or missing shingles.

Replace them now before it gets too cold, as moisture buildup from a big snow is far more likely to leak through your roof than an average rain. While you’re up there, rake off any existing leaves or debris as these items also hold moisture and can add weight to the roof of your home. That unnecessary pressure can increase the risk of damage.

Evade the freeze and burst. It is best to disconnect all outdoor water sources – any unused water that remains in pipes is likely to freeze. By disconnecting your water hose and turning off other outdoor water sources, you decrease the chance of bursting your pipes. Most systems have a built-in manual or automatic drain valve that uses gravity to drain water from the pipes but, if you want professional help, contact a plumber who can quickly get the job done. Damage to an underground irrigation system is costly to fix, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

Your home is your escape from the cold. Don’t let a simple maintenance mistake make you miserable this season. For more professional help and advice, call us today!

Lawrence M. Lipman is the owner and president of The Lipman Group / Sotheby’s International Realty in Nashville. Real estate is Larry’s career, but also his passion, and he takes pride in guiding buyers and sellers through exciting home transitions at any budget. Larry welcomes questions and can be reached by calling 615-364-3333.