With much of the United States gripped in Arctic Cold temperatures many ask what kind be done to prevent damage and/or future issues in your home. Of course the more things you can do to prevent the cold accessing certain things around your home need to be done every winter. Making sure hoses outside the home are disconnected and faucet insulators in place is a great start. Making sure any pipes located in a garage, attic space or other unheated parts of your home are insulated will go a long way throughout the year. While in the attic many people will find places such as eves and storage spaces have not been insulated. Take not of these areas as there are good times during spring or fall to add insulation to these areas and though a dirty job, it is a task many can do on their own for minimal cost. Making sure you have faucets inside the home dripping both cold and hot water, especially when your not using water at certain times such as when your sleeping will help keep things from standing still and freezing.
Now for the things that many people don’t think to check but will go a long way during the life of your home that many don’t find unless they inspect their home during these hopefully rare blasts of record cold. Windows are probably one of a homes greatest sources of heat and/or air lose. Arctic temperatures can expose even the smallest leaks. Because it is so cold outside and hopefully warm inside you will easily spot even your smallest leaks as frost will rear its ugly head. You may notice frost in the corners of windows or maybe even discoloration of trim around the windows. This will show you places that air is making inside. This marks an issue. Whether it be poor caulk around windows, poor insulation etc, your windows can be a great source of air transfer throughout your home. Take note of these spots so once the temperatures rise you can address these areas. This also applies to exterior doors throughout the house.
Some places many never think to look is around the exhaust fans, inside closets, or spots around the house that have exposure to your attic space. One spot I found today while inspecting my home was an exhaust fan in my powder room. I looked up and frost was around the outside edges of the fan cover. I have noted that this is an area I need to better insulate and seal once it is possible to access my attic without freezing. Many recessed lights also have exposure to attic temperature. Though not the case in many newer homes, where your filters are for your hvac system can also be an issue. Many new homes have these pretty air tight but older homes may need a little extra insulation. Again you will see frost in these areas since warm air and cold air creates condensation and if it is too big of an issue you will see frost.
So use this time of not wanting to leave the house as a good time to find places in your home that may be causing higher utility costs or may over time cause more expensive fixes. Many of these things can be prevented with relatively little costs. Some insulation here, a bit of pipe wrapping there, and some caulk or sometimes spray foam there can go a long way to peace of mind and reduced costs over time.