Are you ready for winter? Even if you aren’t ready mentally, it’s time to make sure your home is ready because winter is coming.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got your covered. Check out this checklist for winterizing your home to make sure you are prepared for the winter’s chill. You may even save money on your energy bills, too!
- Check Your Fireplace and Chimney
Soot can buildup in your fireplace, and it is can be dangerous. Be sure to thoroughly clean your chimney before winter starts.
This job can be rather messy, and you need to do it right to avoid a fire hazard. With this in mind, you may want to hire a professional.
You should have your chimney cleaned annually. Your chimney sweep service can also do an inspection to make sure there are no other issues.
- Clean Your Gutters
You need clear gutters so water can flow freely. This is imperative in the winter, so you don’t get standing water that can freeze. The best time to clean your gutters is right after your trees are bare.
This will remove all the waste and debris, and you won’t have more leaves fall and have to do the process all over again.
It’s not difficult to clean gutters, but can be hazardous because you need to climb a ladder. Safety comes first, so if you are uncomfortable on a ladder, you should hire a professional.
- Get the Furnace Ready
This is probably the most critical component when getting your home ready for winter. You want to make sure your furnace is working before you need it.
Perform a test run to make sure everything turns on and you feel warm air blowing out of the vents. Simply turn the thermostat up a few degrees and make sure the setting is on heat.
You should also replace the air filter. You want your air to flow freely and not spread dust and other debris, so it’s important to change your filter regularly.
You may also want to have a professional perform seasonal maintenance. You can stay ahead of issues and the technician can perform HVAC repair if needed. It’s best to catch these problems when they are little instead of when you wake up without heat on a chilly winter morning.
Since you will be running the furnace more, it’s important to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working. A carbon oxide leak can happen from the exhaust system.
- Insulate the Windows
If you have older windows that are not energy-efficient, you may be wasting energy. There are several ways you can insulate your windows if you are not ready to replace all your windows.
You can purchase inexpensive insulation film and put it over your windows. This will prevent heat from escaping out your windows. You can also use weather-stripping tape to seal your windows.
Fill in any gaps with caulk to keep the warm air inside.
- Insulate Your Pipes
You may want to consider insulating your hot water pipes, so you can save on utility costs. If you have any exposed pipes in an unheated area like a crawl space or basement you should insulate because they could be a potential hazard.
This is because the water can freeze when the temperatures drop below 32 degrees. If water freezes in the pipes, the pipes could burst causing damage to your home.
To insulate the pipes, you can use foam sleeves or insulated wraps that wrap around the pipes.
Along with your indoor pipes, don’t forget about your outdoor pipes. Remove all garden hoses, drain, and store them. You should also shut off the valves and insulate your faucet.
You should also drain the pipes if you have a sprinkler system. This means you should remove any excess water to prevent your pipes from freezing, which can damage your system.
- Remove Outdoor Debris
You should check your property for branches growing over your house, driveway, or garage. You will want to trim back these branches because they could come down during a storm and cause damage.
Look for signs of dead limbs. If you see dead leaves attached to a branch after the rest of the tree has shed, this is a sign your branch is dead. You should also look for missing bark or spots with mushrooms.
You should also cut back perennials. Not only will it make your landscape appear tidier, but it will also help prevent harmful pests that like to hide out in these plants.
- Stop Air Leaks
Even if you insulated your windows, you need to look for other areas where cold air can enter including doors, HVAC registers, attic access, and any other openings for wiring or pipes.
You should caulk around your doors and windows yearly. Weatherstripping can also shrink so you may need to replace annually as well.
You can check for drafts by using a lit candle. Hold it up to the area. If you see it flicker, you have a draft.
Start Winterizing Your Home
Now you know how to winterize your home. Use these tips and start winterizing your home by insulating your pipes, having your gutters cleaned, checking for air leaks, removing outdoor debris, cleaning your chimney, and having your furnace cleaned and inspected.
Don’t be left out in the cold this winter. Take some steps to keep your home cozy all winter long.
Check out some other advice on how to keep your home cozy and comfortable by exploring our site even further. We have several articles to help you maintain your home and keep yourself comfortable all year long.