Prepping Your Home for the Winter Months
Winter can really be a lovely time of year. Cozy sweaters, making fires and a built-in excuse to hang around the house binge watching Netflix? I’m in. But with the change in temperature comes some prep work for any smart homeowner. Be sure to take care of these home preparation tasks for a hassle free winter season:
Heating System Preparation:
First things first, have your heating and air company come out to check the functionality of your heating system. They will clean and service your HVAC system and replace any air filters. It’s basically like an annual physical for your HVAC system; get the yearly check up as preventative maintenance and it will be much less costly in the long run. Service costs can run anywhere from $75-$250, depending on the size of your system and where you live.
Bring in Your Outdoor Items
While items like hammocks and outdoor pillows are technically weatherproof, I still bring in fabric items that tend to be a bit sensitive to moisture. I wouldn’t want my hammock weighed down with heavy snow and ice, nor would I want my pillows and outdoor couch cushions frozen in 10-degree temperatures. Store these fabric items in your shed, garage or mudroom for the winter.
For heavier items that aren’t as mobile, invest in outdoor furniture covers. Enjoy your furniture for years to come by protecting it from the elements during cold months.
To avoid your garden hose freezing or worse – bursting an interior pipe, take these precaution:
- Disconnect your hose from the outdoor spigot and drain.
- Unkink your hose during this process so no water is blocked from draining.
- Loop your hose in a circular shape and store indoors in a warm location such as a mudroom. Avoid storing in a non-insulated garage or it may freeze.
- Install covers on your outside faucets.
Don’t Let Cold Air Sneak in and Raise Your Heating Bill!
Pipes: Exposed pipes or indoor pipes that are not properly insulated to the outdoors (think crawl spaces, garages, attics) can freeze if not protected. Consider insulating these spaces or protecting your pipes with heat tape or heat cables such as these products from BriskHeat.
Caulking: Check window and door seals to see if they need to be recalled. With an easy caulking gun like this one from Home Depot, this project is a breeze.
Attic Weather striping: If you have a pull-down attic, make sure the door closes all the way and is flush with your ceiling. If it’s not, your expensive heat could be getting out right through your attic! Consider weather stripping your attic to avoid this problem. One option is to purchase an attic stair cover.
Before lighting that fire, call a local chimney sweep to inspect your fireplace to avoid a fire, carbon monoxide leak or to see if your chimney needs a cleaning. This is especially important if you’ve just moved into a new home or have never used your fireplace before.
Check Your Cold-Weather Emergency Stash
Do you get snow and power outages? Make sure you have plenty of flashlights (plus batteries), a battery-operated radio, candles, and any other necessities you might need in a blackout. Prior to the storm, pick up food and water in case you’re snowed in for a few days.
Enjoy the winter months by feeling confident your home is protected with these timely tips. Here’s to sweaters and snowball fights!