I've compiled a small list of winterization tips for Central Oregon home owners. I've noticed many homes lately that owners haven't yet winterized.
- Check your foundation. Cover all vents with vent covers. You can pick these up at your local hardware store. Vent covers keep the air beneathe your home warmer, which helps with your house temperature and keeps pipes from freezing. In the spring you should remember to remove all vent covers. When the Central Oregon weather warms up, you want airflow under your home to dry up any moisture leftover from winter.
- Clean your rain gutters out! Snow eventually melts into your gutters. Make sure they're clean to allow them to work like they're supposed to.
- Set your thermostat. Your Bend home should be above 50 degrees at all time. Your pipes shouldn't freeze at 50. Freezing pipes aren't fun. I had a listing in Bend in the past that the home owners neglected to keep above 50. The result was thousands of dollars in damage from a pipe bursting.
- Get your furnce and fireplaces checked. You should have your furnace inspected annually by a certified inspector to ensure working order. Also, make sure to change your filters frequently to allow your furnace to be as effecient as possible. For those of you who have fireplaces and/or wood-stoves, have a chimney sweeper come out each fall. Make sure that your chimney is cleaned and in working order.
- Keep the cold air out. Check your exterior windows and doors for leaks and cracks. Install new weather stripping if needed. You can save big on your heating bill by blocking these small air leaks.
- Smoke Alarms. Check your smoke alarms. Make sure the battery is good and that the smoke alarm is in working order.
Next year get your home winterized before the winter hits in Central Oregon. And if your home is on the market, make sure to keep it at a cozy yet cost effeciant temperature. There's nothing like showing a home in this Bend real estate market that is freezing inside! Buyers don't want to spend time in a "bone shivering" cold home.