How Can Wichitans Avoid Property Damage and Reduce Heating Costs This Winter
Home winterization is a priority for Wichita residents in 2021. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Wichitans can expect to see natural gas costs rise by 30% on average. Additionally, the EIA predicts electrical heating bills will climb 6% while oil heating prices will increase by 43%. The energy costs will be proportionately higher if the weather turns colder than anticipated. For this reason, homeowners need to reduce heating costs by winterizing their homes to prevent frozen pipes and water damage.
In February 2021, Wichitans experienced a historical cold snap and dealt with over $700,000 in storm-related property damage. If similar temperatures occur, homeowners will have to deal with higher energy bills coupled with property repair costs. To save money and keep your home in good shape, here are the most important winterization tasks to help keep you warm and safe in the upcoming winter storm season.
Weatherstrip Exterior Doors and Windows
One way to keep energy costs low is by preventing warm air from escaping the home. Identify any drafts near doors and windows and plug gaps with weatherstripping or caulking. Having a one-eighth opening around a door is equivalent to having a small window midway open. In other words, a small gap can be costly. Installing weatherstripping helps block these openings and keeps the chilly cold air outside. To maximize this energy-saving strategy, lock your windows and add heavy drapes to prevent warm indoor air from escaping your home. After all, every bit helps in lowering energy bills.
Winterize the Yard
Winterizing the yard might not lower home energy costs, but it can thwart unnecessary home repairs. Turning off outside water access and draining residual water supply lines prevents pipes from bursting due to the cold. Additionally, removing debris from gutters can stop water build-up and avert leaks. If you're unable to complete these tasks, a gutter cleaning service or a landscaping company enables the completion of these repairs promptly. Having these tasks done before the temperature reaches 55 Fahrenheit makes it less likely cold temperature problems will develop.
Evaluate Outside Walls
It is essential to inspect residential exterior walls to keep winter elements and cold temperatures at bay. After all, the outside walls serve to insulate, repel water, and protect the interior from damage. Cracks and damaged siding can generate leaks and drafts. Sealing any exterior damage keeps the low average Wichita temps of 25 degrees from seeping in. For this reason, before extreme winter temperatures set in, it is prudent to get started on exterior home repairs.
Inspect the Roof
Another part of the home that should be thoroughly inspected is the roof. It can be subject to interior damage from a weak spot or a missing shingle, and heavy snowfall can cause weak areas to cave in. The resulting hole in the roof can make a home unlivable for the duration of the colder months. Moreover, it can cause home energy bills to spike dramatically, unless the homeowner makes immediate repairs
Sealing air gaps and making expedited home repairs allow Wichita residents to offset some of the rising energy costs that they'll face this winter. Simple things like cleaning out the gutters can prevent winter damage from accumulating and causing further financial constraints. Hence, a little forethought goes a long way financially.