Getting your home ready for winter - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Getting your home ready for winter

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Energy experts tell KULR-8 weatherstripping and caulking is probably the most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. Experts say improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner's heating dollars.

Here is a checklist of simple ways to make your home more comfortable, while keeping those escalating energy bills at bay:

  • Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping and caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape. If your windows leak really badly, consider replacing them with newer, more efficient ones. Every duct, wire or pipe that penetrates the wall or ceiling or floor has the potential to waste energy.
  • Don't forget to close the damper on your fireplace. Of course, the damper needs to be open if a fire is burning, but if the damper is open when you're not using the fireplace, your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room and creates a draft.
  • Examine your house's heating ducts for leaks. Ducts can leak for years without you knowing it.
  • It's also important that you insulate your attic. In an older home, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs.
  • Also make sure to check your heating system to make sure it's in good working order.

A lot of you will also blow out your sprinkler system this year. Landscaping experts say every year, before the first freeze, blowing out your sprinkler system should be a priority.

Experts say if there is any water left in your sprinkler pipes they can freeze, expand and crack your PVC piping. Experts tell KULR-8 the first steps to blowing out a sprinkler system is to make sure the water inside the house and outside is off before we blow the system outside.

Though the pipes are often flexible and will most of the time expand under pressure, any leftover water could potentially freeze and rupture the pipes.

Landscaping experts say while winterizing your sprinkler system is important, don't forget to check your gutters.

Nestor Nava Chavez, owner of Maple Falls Landscaping in Billings, says, "Sometimes if you don't clean the gutters all the snow piles up there and it gets heavier and all of the water overflows and it creates a problem for the house, the roofing and inside."

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