The Portland winter storm season is upon us. We want you to be prepared for the cold and often stormy weather so we have a list of everything you need to do to keep your family warm and cozy this winter.
As an added bonus, you’ll save money as many of these things save energy too.
Start with your windows
Here at Sierra Glass, we deal with leaky windows and insulated window units that need to be replaced but there’s other things you can do to prepare your Portland home for winter. Let’s start with some simple things you can do to save energy and money this winter season.
Did you know improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 % of your heating dollars?
If you have drafty windows, now is the time to fix them so that you aren’t losing heat all winter long. If your windows are old, you can call us for an estimate for replacement.
If you have insulated glass units that are foggy or have moisture inside the 2 panes, we can fix it without having to replace the entire window unit (we’ll replace the glass and you’ll save money).
Whatever your window concerns are, give us a call and we’ll take a look. We guarantee to give you options and a fair price for solving your problem.
Leaks come from many places
Windows and doors aren’t the only things that leak. Every duct, wire or pipe that goes through your walls, ceilings or floors has the ability to leak and waste energy. This includes the duct work for your home’s heating system that runs throughout your house.
Plumbing vents can be especially bad as they often begin below the floor and travel up to the roof. Weather-stripping and caulk is your best friend for sealing up unwanted leaks.
It’s always a good idea to have a furnace tune-up in the fall (before cold weather arrives). You don’t want an unpleasant surprise when you turn it on for the first time and it doesn’t work. Also, change or clean the furnace filter once a year. Your furnace will last longer and run more efficiently as it works less hard when the filter is clean.
Check thermostat settings
Did you know it takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long?
If you have a programmable thermostat, one of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to turn down your thermostat at night and when you’re not at home (like during the day).
Being smart about setting your thermostat can cut your heating costs more than 20%.
Close your fireplace damper
Of course your damper needs to be open when you have a fire burning but remember to close it when you don’t have a fire. When open, it’s like having a large open window in your house as warm air will be drawn out of the house and replaced with cold outside air. This is a tip that costs you nothing so make a point to do it.
Avoid costly water line breaks
Having a burst water pipe is never fun so make sure to cover your outside hose bibs with those foam covers (they’re cheap, can be bought at any home supply store and take about 3 seconds to put on).
If there’s pipes below your house (in the crawlspace), you’ll want to cover them with tubular pipe insulation sleeves. Lastly, if you have a sprinkler system, you’ll want to have in-ground pipes blown out (so water won’t freeze in them).
Emergency kit for a power outage
You always cross your fingers and hope you don’t lose power though that usually doesn’t prevent an outage. While it’s never fun, you can minimize your discomfort by making your own emergency kit-just in case. Ideally, your kit should have a 3-day supply for all members of your household (pets too).
Your kit should contain the following:
- Batteries (several sizes for your flashlights, radio, etc.)
- Flashlights (more than 1 is best and have spare batteries too)
- Candles (again, more than 1 and make sure you have matches or a lighter)
- Plenty of warm clothes and blankets
- Battery-powered radio
- Non-perishable food items (can opener for any canned foods)
- Water (2 liters per adult per day and don’t forget about your pets)
- First aid kit
- Medicine and/or inhalers (if a family member is on prescription medicine)
- Baby formula/food (if you have a baby)
- Pet food/treats (remember the needs of your 4-legged family members)
If always a good idea to keep your cell phone charged and put your emergency kit where it is readily available. Since you never know WHEN the power will go you, keep flashlights in several rooms of the house so that you aren’t stumbling in the dark to find one with the lights go out.
We hope this list helps you prepare your Portland home for the cold weather ahead. If you have any window-related concerns or problems, contact Sierra Glass in Hillsboro. We give free estimates for window repair and replacements (fixing foggy or leaky insulated glass window units are our specially) and service the entire Portland Oregon area.