Winter will soon be approaching. Soon we should start winterizing our home for those winter winds. By taking some extra steps now we can save money, save energy and stay much more comfortable when winter arrives.
First, you could start with the small stuff like checking out your windows and doorways for broken seals. A broken seal can cause you to loose a lot of energy throughout an entire season. It can also cause a room to be drafty and uncomfortable. A seal is easy to fix. Just go and buy a plain old tube of caulking (make sure it is for indoor and outdoor use). Take a knife and pull away the old bits of caulking and replace with the new. If you don’t want to use caulking, you can even buy weather stripping just for doors and windows. It is easy to find a leak. Just place your hand near the where the edge of the frame and feel for air.
You should also check to see that your caulking is still secure in these areas of your home: around your plumbing pipes, around furnace vent pipes, gutters, downspouts seams, flashing seams between your roof and siding and even your dryer vent.
Next you need to check out your roof. Make sure there are no little holes beginning to form. If you see any, patch immediately. If you have a metal roof you should recoat the roof yearly with a good sealer. When sealing your roof, pay extra attention to the edge, seams and any expansions joints. You should also reseal the area around caps for your furnace, water heater and any exhaust fans.
If you have your manufactured home tied down and you live in an area in which the ground freezes solid, you should loosen the tie downs before winter really hits. Freezing ground can cause the ground to heave as much as 3 inches during the winter. Tie downs keeps the home from moving. This means it can’t move with the ground and can cause serious structural damage. Just be sure to make a note to tie the home back down securely by spring.
Now you should check your home’s skirting. You want to make sure it is tight and secure. You don’t want any air to seep underneath your home. It will cause your home to be cooler and can even cause your plumbing to freeze. Remember to shovel that upcoming snow away from your skirting, to keep from harming it.
Speaking of frozen pipes now is the time to make sure you have no plumbing leaks. If you have leaks, fix them. Then you may want to insulate your pipes. Some people wrap their pipes with insulation or foam insulation. Other people like using heat tapes. If you are using a heat tape, make sure you inspect it. If there are any tears in it, get a new one. You should also never overlap a heat tape because it can cause fire.
Repair any broken storm doors or windows. Caulking your doors is not enough to stop those leaks. Broken storm doors and windows can cause you to loose 50 percent of your homes heat.
Perform a yearly furnace check. If you don’t really think you are qualified to check your furnace yourself than think about hiring someone to check it for you. Some things that should be checked yearly are fuel lines, safety controls, burner and flu pipes.
You can change or clean your furnace filter easily yourself. This should be done monthly.
You may also want to check the blower motor. First, vacuum up any dirt or debris around the motor. Then you should inspect the V belt and pulleys for wear.
Clean any debris and dirt in the furnace area. Most importantly, never use the furnace closet to store anything or to dry clothes. This is a major fire hazard.
After doing all of these little things, you still may not mentally be ready for winter. But your manufactured home will be ready.