If you live in a region where snowfall during the winter season is expected, now is a good time to consider preparing your home for freezing temperatures, hail storms and blizzards.
While we are well into the winter season, you can still take preventative measures to avoid dealing with these issues. Let’s explore seven important tips that you can use to prepare your home for the winter.
Help keep your home happy in the chilly winter months and enjoy a cozy holiday season with these seven tips in mind.
1. Check Your Heating System
It would help if you hired an HVAC service to come and check your furnace or boiler. Maintaining your heating and cooling systems is an essential part of home maintenance. You don’t want to be caught on a frigid winter day without heat to warm your home.
At the very least, change the filters in your system. A reputable HVAC contractor or HVAC company will ensure that your boiler or furnace is in working order so your home will be warm during cold winter months.
A couple of other HVAC problems can occur during the winter months, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and catch problems early on.
2. Prepare Your Plumbing
Exposed pipes that run along your walls are more vulnerable to bursting. When water freezes due to low temperatures, it can cause pipes to burst and could potentially flood your home. Many hardware stores have pipe insulation that you can purchase for an affordable price.
Now is a good time to use other preventative measures to ensure your plumbing system is set for the winter. Understand where the main water valve is located. If a pipe does burst, you can turn off the water immediately.
3. Clean Out the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your home, you’ll likely want to use it as a source of heat.
Nothing screams winter more than cozying up fireside with a cup of hot chocolate. During the other seasons, your fireplace can become full of debris, ashes and sometimes even beehives. Consider hiring a professional chimney sweep contractor to come and service your fireplace.
It’s also a good idea to order some firewood online or shop at your local store to pick up some firewood to have on hand when it’s time to warm your home. You can also try cleaning your fireplace yourself to save a bit of money.
4. Add or Replace Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is specifically designed to help seal air leaks around different areas of your home, such as doors and windows. You can also use caulk to fill cracks or gaps in stationary regions of your home.
Choosing the right weatherstripping depends on a few factors. If you place it on windows, it must be able to stay when windows open or close. If you seal a crack at the bottom of your door, the door still has to swing on the hinge and not drag on the floor.
The Department of Energy has a chart filled with information on weather stripping and what type of stripping to place at various locations inside your home.
5. Drain Your Sprinkler System
Many landscaping companies perform lawn winter maintenance to help homeowners protect their yards during the winter.
For example, a sprinkler blowout removes all water within the sprinkler system to make sure pipes are completely clear so they won’t freeze when the temperature dips.
Outdoor home maintenance is just as important as indoor maintenance. Because winter months can present unruly weather conditions, take a look around the outside of your home to ensure anything outside can withstand snowstorms.
6. Clean Gutters
It usually only takes a couple of hours to go around the perimeter of your home and clean out your gutters. You can also hire a professional to come to clean your gutters if you’re not comfortable with climbing up on a ladder. Keeping your gutters clear of debris will allow melting snow or ice to drain properly.
After removing leaves and other debris from your gutters, use a garden hose or pressure washer for more power to get smaller bits of debris out.
7. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
House fires occur most during the winter months, so you must test your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Put some fresh batteries in each detector so you know they’ll go off in case of emergency.
Consider getting one if you have yet to equip your home with a carbon monoxide detector. Suppose you heeded our advice above about getting your HVAC system inspected. In that case, your furnace should be in good working order, which would likely be a source of carbon monoxide.
All of these tips will help you ensure that your property is all set for the winter months. Taking preventative measures will keep you and your family safe and warm when temperatures drop.
After following some of the recommended tips above, you’ll feel much more confident that your house can withstand harsh winter conditions.
Single-digit temperatures and heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your home and lawn. Preparing your home for winter conditions is vital — no homeowner wants to deal with freezing or bursting pipes, icy gutters or ashy fireplaces.