Portland winters are typically both wet and cold which can lead to problems more than just a snowed-in driveway. Knowing how to do things like winterize pipes and weatherstrip your doors and windows can make all the difference between having to spend thousands of dollars on repairs should you not take these proactive steps. Here are 10 steps you can take to prepare your home for a Portland winter.
How to Prep Your House for A Portland Winter
Some of these cost-saving tips can be accomplished over a weekend before Portland winter storms roll in. Other tasks may need the help of a professional or a little extra planning. Basically, the sooner the better. It always works in your favor if you can get ahead of a cold front.
But if you haven’t found the time to winterize your home yet, that’s okay. Keep an eye on the weather, and if you see a break in storm systems, have your materials ready so you can get your home prepared for the colder temperatures ahead.
Use Space Heaters
Space heaters, otherwise known as zone heaters, are a great way to save money on your home heating bill. They work by providing energy-efficient warmth in just one or two rooms at once, which means you can enjoy all the benefits of warm living without having to pay to heat the whole home.
Most homeowners that live in the Midwest or Northeast know how to winterize pipes, but it may seem like an alien concept for newer transplants to the Pacific Northwest. Winter temperatures in Portland can plummet below freezing. Winterizing pipes by wrapping foam insulation around them can prevent them from freezing and can help you avoid expensive repairs should a pipe burst.
Open Your Curtains/Blinds
During the day when temperatures are warmer, it may be wise to open your blinds and curtains to allow some sunlight to flood your home. This will help naturally warm your home instead of space heaters or running your HVAC throughout the day. If your windows are poorly insulated, you may want to consider adding additional caulk around the edges before a winter storm hits.
Invest in Area Rugs
Heat can escape through the floorboards. If you live in one of the many homes in Portland that have traditional hardwood floors, area rugs are a great solution for absorbing the colder temperatures and trapping warmer air inside your home. Plus area rugs can add a hint of warmth to the aesthetics of your interior alone.
Weatherstripping is cheap and easy to install. Visually check for areas in your home where warm air could be escaping through tiny cracks in windows, doorways, or mail chutes. Use weatherstripping to seal cracks to better trap warm air inside your home.
Cleaning the gutters is an essential part of winterizing your home during Portland winters. Portland is known for its lush greenery, which brings with it lots of dead leaves when the weather gets colder. Because the winter months typically bring lots of rain, it is wise to make sure your gutters are free of debris to prevent gutters from backing up. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage on both the exterior and interior of your home. If you have gutters that aren’t easy to access, you may want to consider hiring a professional to properly clear your gutters of dead leaves, debris, branches, rocks, and dirt.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-up
A furnace tune-up could save you from being stuck with no heating source which is the last thing you need to happen in the dead of a Portland winter storm. A professional HVAC technician will check your filters, clean the coils and ensure that your furnace and heating system are in working order before it gets cold outside.
Set Ceiling Fan to Rotate Clockwise
This is a rather simple task that will take you mere minutes to accomplish. Most homeowners are unaware that switching the direction of your ceiling fan from counterclockwise to clockwise can help save you money on your heating bill. Locate the switch on the side of the ceiling fan’s body. If it has been blowing clockwise, simply switch it to rotate in the other direction.
Clean Your Chimney
This home winterizing task requires some additional assistance. In order to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide buildup in our homes during the winter, we should call a professional chimney sweep to properly clean it and clear it of debris before you start burning fires in your wood-burning fireplace.
Stock Your Home With Winter Essentials
Stock up on canned goods, firewood, medical supplies, water, and all the essentials in the event you should be without power and need additional supplies. Even items like a hand-crank radio, an extra cell phone charger, batteries, and blankets come in handy if a winter storm knocks out power for even a day. It never hurts to be prepared.
Contact Sky Heating to Winterize your Home
If you are having an issue with your HVAC system or furnace, our technicians are fully trained and equipped to quickly determine the source of the problem and correct it. In addition to repairs and furnace replacement, we provide ductwork, air quality, and plumbing services in Portland, Gresham, The Dalles, and elsewhere across Oregon and Southwest Washington. Call us at 541-275-2918 or reach out online to schedule HVAC service.