As much as we wish the warm weather would hold out just a little longer, it’s hard to ignore the cold weather outside. As we get ourselves ready for winter by digging out our warm coats, hats, and gloves, we need to get our homes prepared for the season as well. Save money on energy expenses, prevent costly water damage, and more with these 10 ways to prepare your home for winter.
1. Check your home for leaks and drafts. Use weather-stripping and caulking to seal any areas where heat may be escaping. Check around doors and windows. Replace old windows or use window insulation kits to prevent drafts.
2. Examine ducts, wires, and pipes, especially those that go through walls, ceilings or floors. Wrap exposed pipes with foam rubber sleeves or insulation for pipes from your hardware store to prevent pipes from freezing and exploding.
3. Put foam insulation behind light switch and outlet plates to help heat from escaping.
4. Arrange to have your chimney cleaned. Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use to help keep warm air inside.
5. Set up an appointment with your heating service to inspect and maintain your system. Replace filters monthly. Make sure heating vents are not blocked by furniture or other items.
6. Have ceiling fans blow upwards toward the ceiling during the winter (and blow downwards during summer). Heat rises and is pushed back down into the room.
7. Clean gutters and use a hose to test for leaks and blockages. Water can freeze in blocked gutters causing water to back up into the house.
8. Have salt handy for icy sidewalks and driveways. Dig out your snow shovel and the ice scrapers/snow brushes for your car. Have your snow blower checked out, and have some gas handy.
9. Shut off the water to all outdoor faucets. Allow them to drain.
10. While you’re taking care of all these winter chores, remember to take care of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, too. Check batteries and test systems.
The cost savings and peace of mind you’ll receive from taking these few steps to winterize your home will make the time and effort worthwhile.
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