Updated Oct 2023
Welcome to your comprehensive guide on Baltimore winter home preparation. With our annual average of 21.1 inches of snow and everchanging winter weather patterns, the Charm City’s winters can be a beautiful challenge for first time homeowners who might be new to both home maintenance and winter in our corner of the country. That’s why we’re here to help. We’ll look at how prioritizing your home’s winter safety and readiness with the following tips will ensure both comfort and significant cost savings for you and your family during the cold winter months ahead. Let’s dive in.
Tip #1: Check and Upgrade Insulation
Insulation plays a large part in keeping you and your family comfortable throughout the winter. Just as you insulate yourself with winter attire—hats, coats, gloves, and snow boots—to keep you warm and cozy, home insulation does the same. Its thermal barrier shields you from the biting winter cold (and the sweltering heat of summer too), yet most homes are under insulated. It’s important to identify and inspect the key areas of your home most prone to heat loss such as your attic, crawl space, and walls to pinpoint gaps and inconsistencies. Maintaining proper insulation in these areas will improve your home’s comfort and lower your energy bills. Many Baltimore area homeowners choose to upgrade their homes with spray foam or fiberglass insulation, both highly effective insulation choices. Since recommended insulation requirements vary by region never hesitate to pick up your cell phone and call an insulation professional to assess your insulation’s health and effectiveness.
Tip #2: Keep Up with Gutter and Downspout Maintenance
As a new homeowner or someone new to the four seasons of Baltimore, it may be easy to put gutter maintenance at the bottom of your “to-do” list in lieu of more seemingly pressing chores. But neglecting your gutters can lead to a cascade of issues, from menacing ice dams in winter to potential water damage year-round. In Baltimore, our glorious fall foliage can easily wreak havoc when leaves clog your gutters. Keep these vital channels clear by clearing debris or consider installing gutter guards for added protection. Don’t forget about your downspouts—ensure they’re channeling water safely away from your home’s foundation. Whether from snow or ice or leaves, this simple maintenance can protect your gutters and save you from a deluge of problems down the road.
Tip #3: Prioritize Heating System Maintenance
During the frosty Baltimore winter, a reliable heating system becomes your lifeline to warmth and comfort. The mere thought of a broken heater in the middle of winter weather is enough to give most of us anxiety. For peace of mind that your heater is ready for the onslaught of winter cold don’t delay in undergoing an annual heating system inspection. Be sure to also change your furnace filters for efficiency, ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector installed, and consider investing in a programmable thermostat to save on energy costs.
There are even perks to encourage you to keep things running smoothly and improve your home’s energy efficiency. Local service providers, such as BGE, offer rebates and incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, including installing eco-friendly heating systems and appliances and proper insulation. Check out what programs you may qualify for and get rewarded staying warm this winter.
Tip #4: Seal Your Windows and Doors
In Baltimore’s diverse housing landscape, winter can be a costly challenge for many homeowners and small gaps around windows and doors can lead to substantial heat loss. Whether you live in a charming row house or a sprawling suburban residence, vulnerabilities abound. Many older homes in the city lack adequate insulation and are drafty and cold, especially around windows and doors. To combat these costly gaps, start by identifying drafts with a simple candle test near your windows and doors. Consider weatherstripping for a quick fix to seals gaps, reduce heat loss, and save energy or go the extra mile by installing insulating window film, thermal curtains, or installing spray foam to create a cozy winter haven.
Tip #5: Protect Your Pipes and Outdoor Faucets
When winter in Baltimore brings a severe winter chill and deteriorating weather conditions, safeguarding your outdoor faucets and pipes is essential to prevent costly damage from frozen or burst pipes. During an unexpected winter storm, when the temperature may dip below 20° for several hours or more, it’s critical to insulate any exposed faucets and disconnect your garden hoses. Also, don’t forget to keep your indoor pipes safe and warm. One of the most effective ways to do this is with proper insulation. Insulation acts as a thermal barrier that keeps not only your home warm, but your pipes as well. Don’t let the cold weather leave you in hot water—protect your plumbing and your wallet this season.
Your Partner in Winter Prep
As winter approaches in Baltimore, remember to follow all local winter weather guidelines and that early preparation is your key to a warm, safe, and energy-efficient season. By acting on steps like insulation, heating system maintenance, window and door sealing, outdoor faucet protection, and more, you can enjoy a cozy and worry-free winter, especially when poor road conditions and icy roads keep you inside. Make these preparations a priority and savor the comfort, energy savings, and peace of mind they bring.
At Foam InSEALators, we are dedicated to helping homeowners in our Baltimore community and beyond maximize their home’s energy efficiency with our effective insulation products and services. Do you have questions about preparing your home for the upcoming winter months? Contact us today for answers to all your insulating questions.