Rochester is known for its chilly climate during the winter months. The city experiences cold temperatures, often dropping below freezing, and substantial snowfall. According to RSSWeather.com, Rochester's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 16.6°F.
The frigid weather and abundant snowfall presents challenges for effective home maintenance. In 2022, we received over 50 inches of snow, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. .A significant portion of this is due to lake effect - what a delight! ;)
Preparing for Rochester's cold climate is essential to ensure homes remain comfortable and in good condition for years to come.
What are the things we can consider when preparing our homes for extreme winter weather? (The funny part is, as Rochesterians, we are used to the climate, but for someone coming from a more temperate area, our winters are pretty extreme!)
Why should you make sure your home is winter-ready?
- Comfort: Effective winterization guarantees comfort by eliminating drafts, minimizing heat loss, and maintaining a consistently cozy indoor temperature. It’s cold enough outside in Rochester winters - at least we can be comfy inside!
- Energy Efficiency: Implementing winterizing steps enhances energy efficiency by retaining heat, reducing the strain on heating systems and natural resources.
- Cost Savings: Winterizing homes in Rochester isn't just about enduring the cold; it's a smart investment in comfort, energy efficiency, and significant long-term cost savings.
Key features to look for in a winter-ready home
- Insulation: Proper insulation minimizes heat loss, creating a more energy-efficient and comfortable indoor environment by trapping and retaining heat. Check for gaps and cracks around doors and windows.
- Heating and Cooling Systems: Efficient, reliable heating systems are crucial for maintaining comfort, reducing energy consumption, and ensuring a consistently warm indoor environment. Ask how old the furnace and AC unit is. A general rule of thumb - not foolproof, though - is that the newer the system, the more energy-efficient it is.
- Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient features result in lower utility costs, reduced environmental impact, and enhanced sustainability, contributing to both financial savings and ecological well-being. Check to see if the furnace, hot water tank, or AC unit have an “Energy Star” sticker on them or a sticker that shows the yearly average cost to operate.
Practical tips for buyers
- Research a property's insulation and heating specifications. As you tour a home, check what the thermostat is set to, and notice if there are hot or cold spots as you walk around.
- Ask about recent energy audits or improvements; once you close on a home, you can schedule a free assessment yourself, too. Check out the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s resources:
- Ask for the average utility cost or copies of utility bills to gauge energy efficiency. Note that these bills will not necessarily reflect the costs to operate for YOUR lifestyle, and will be inaccurate if the house has been vacant recently, but it can be a good starting point!
Investing in winter-ready features ensures not only your family’s comfort during colder months, but also protects your investment and your monthly utility budget. Please contact our team if you have any questions about what to look for in a home!