Although it seems like fall has just arrived, soon the snow will fall and winter will be upon us. Before the snow comes, now’s the time to get your home prepared for the long winter. So where do you start? Just follow our guide for winterizing your home – and check it off your list before the next big snowfall!
Inspect your furnace. Your furnace will be blaring in no time, so it’s best to have it checked by an HVAC professional as soon as possible. You may also want to consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat if you haven’t already done so. And a good way to keep the home warm? Reverse the spin of your fans! Reversing the spin will push warm air down, which will also keep your heating bill down this winter!
Check out the roof, gutters & downspouts. You may want to add extra insulation to the attic to keep your home warm during the harshest part of winter. Take a thorough look at your roof and replace any worn shingles or tiles, and clean out and hose down the gutters to clear away debris.
Wrap those pipes. First, you’ll want to be sure that any water running to an outside hose is turned off over the winter. Next, check any pipes running through areas that may not be heated – basements, garages, crawl spaces – and focus your attention on them. Insulate these pipes with foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation to keep them from bursting this winter.
Service seasonal tools and machines. One good thing about winter? No lawn mowing! So be sure to drain the gas before it’s stowed away for the next few months. You’ll also want to make sure any gardening equipment you’ve used over summer/fall has been cleaned and organized away. Replace any snow shovels that may be worn or warped, and tune up that snow-blower before it’s too late! You also may want to stock up on bags of salt or sand.
Stop any leaks. One of the biggest energy-killers in the winter is the loss of warm air through leaky windows and doors. Make sure the cold air stays out and the warm air stays in by performing this simple test: Set a lit candle near your windows and doors around your home, if the flame flickers, you’ve got a leak. Door sweeps and be purchased to block air from getting through the bottom of doors around the exterior of the home, and windows can be treated with caulk to keep them free of leaks.
Check the chimney & fireplace. Keep foreign objects (and critters!) out of the chimney by installing a cap or screen at its top. Make sure the fireplace damper opens and closes properly, and have a chimney sweep remove any soot. Now would also be a good time to start stocking up on firewood – keep it stored in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.