Fall is here, which means winter is officially around the corner!
Before you know it, snow will be falling, and the air will get colder. Getting yourself ready for the winter season is relatively simple. You have to gather your coat, gloves, hat, scarves and winter boots, and you can take on the season!
However, it takes a bit more time and preparation than preparing your home for the winter. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep your home in shape for whatever mother nature throws at you.
If you’ve lived in your home for a while now, you know what to expect for the winter season, whether it be blizzards, heavy rain or cold spells at night.
Although it may not seem necessary to start these home readiness projects now, it’ll save you time and hard work for when the winter weather finally hits. If your area is prone to harsh weather, here are eight ways to get your home ready for winter.
1. Check the HVAC System
When the cold weather comes, you want to be sure that your heating system is working.
Use this time to make sure it’s working correctly. Change the filters or at least clean them, so the air coming into your home is contaminant-free. If needed, you can ask a professional to come to your home and do an overall inspection of your HVAC system.
They will ensure that the system achieves maximum efficiency and that there isn’t a carbon monoxide leak.
2. Seal and Clean Your Windows
Maintaining your windows can save you on energy costs this winter. Take time to clean the windows throughout your home.
This will help give you a clearer view of any potential problems with your windows, like hairline cracks or chips. A small crack in a window allows cold air to leak into your home. Once they’re clean, seal the edges to keep drafts at bay. Replace worn weather stripping and caulk any gaps. The same goes for doors, too.
3. Clean Your Gutters
In the fall, leaves fall off of the trees.
These leaves can pile up in your gutters along with any sticks, dirt and debris as well. When gutters back up, they overflow.
This is a significant problem in winter because the water can run down your home’s sides and freeze, further deteriorating your home. Icicles forming off of gutters can cause a safety issue, too, especially if anyone walks under them and they break off, harming the person.
4. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
House fires occur more often in the winter months because people burn candles or have indoor heating units that can cause a fire.
It’s also the season where homes are closed up tight to keep the cold air out and warm air in, which can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise.
Check all of your detectors to ensure they’re working. Change out the batteries, too, so they can be sure to last all winter. A working detector can be the line between life and death.
5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you have exposed pipes that run along a wall or are in an unheated area, like a garage or basement, insulate them.
An uninsulated exposed pipe can cause a hazard. If the water inside freezes, it can cause the pipe to burst, which will cost you money for repairs. There are plenty of pipe insulation options available at hardware stores, and it’s more affordable to insulate than it is to pay for damages.
6. Inspect Tree Branches
It’s great to have a property that allows you to plant trees. Trees can offer protection against harsh winds in the wintertime.
However, if you have any branches hanging over the house, driveway, power lines, garage or any other structure, a winter storm could weigh them down, and they could snap. Look for signs of dead limbs and branches that may not be sturdy. You can remove them yourself or call an arborist.
7. Rotate Your Fan Blades
Did you know that you can reverse your ceiling fan? Most ceiling fans have the option to reverse the way they are spinning.
During the warmer months, your ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise to push the cool air down. In the winter, you can reverse it to rotate clockwise after you turn on your heat. The fan produces an updraft and pushes heated air down into the room from the ceiling since warm air rises.
You can save on energy with this winter hack!
8. Divert Water Away from Your House
Finally, you’ll want to divert water away from your house. This tip is in conjunction with cleaning out your gutters.
If possible, attach an extension piece to the bottom of your downspout system. Any water that comes from melting snow or seasonal rains will go away from the foundation of your house. If water seeps into your foundation, it can freeze and crack.
Foundational damage comes with a price tag, so do yourself a favor and divert water away from your home.
Embrace the Season with a Prepared Home
By putting in some work now, your home will be ready to take on winter weather.
A well-maintained home will last much longer than one that goes without winter maintenance.
Plus, it’ll save you costs in the long run!