Did you realize that getting your home prepared for winter should actually begin during the Fall/Autumn season. As temperatures rapidly drop what immediately comes to mind is to pull out your coat, toboggan, gloves, and scarf in order to guard yourself from the severe cold. Safeguarding your home is very vital in order to completely fight off the “Old Man Winter”.
Here are the 8 tips to assist you in getting home properly prepared for winter:
1. Ensure your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) is Inspected – This is one of the most significant winterization tips stated here. Look for a (HVAC) professional to check your furnace. Ensure they take a look at your ductwork to make sure they are completely free flowing and checked for holes and any separated duct joints. Remind them to change your filter if necessary, but you should make it a habit to do this on a monthly basis for the majority of the furnace systems.
2. Check thoroughly all your Windows for Leaks and Cracks – It’s a common belief that windows are used for cool breezes and air circulation during the summer, but no one would want cold air leaking in especially during the winter months. Take a thorough look at the exterior window wells for chipped paint and cracks. In a situation whereby the glass in your windows got cracked, you should try to estimate whether or not there is a need for complete replacement and if successfully replaced ensure to prime and paint the exposed wood in order to prevent against possible air leaks.
3. Take a thorough check at all your Doors and entrances for Leaks and Cracks – If you can feel a cool air or cool breeze from the sides or bottoms of your doors then it’s expedient to apply weather stripping. Just weather stripping alone can help save you up to 21% in cooling and heating costs. Essentially weather strips are narrow strip of material (mostly plastic) which cover all the joints of a window or door to prevent the cold from entering. It’s simply a painless job and will definitely save you a great deal of energy costs.
4. Check Downspouts and Gutters and ensure they are kept clean – If your roof grade is not very steep then you should consider using a leaf blower to get them out, this makes the job faster and easier. By removing the leaves completely from the downspout and gutter will guarantee a good drainage when the snow and rain of winter begins.
5. Check the Roof Covering / Shingles – Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing covering like shingles. While doing this it’s very crucial to take a thorough look at the flashing in order to ensure that water is not running into your home. If you discover that your roof is sagging or leaking, contact a roofing professional as soon as possible.
6. Safeguard your Plumbing – Plumbing and pipes are great concern during the winter. If your pipe freezes it’s going to be very expensive to fix. Before the first freeze of the year, it’s important you drain and completely shut off your water hoses and sprinkler system to avoid burst and frozen pipes. Disengage all hoses from the spigots and ensure your hoses are completely drained. For additional protection in climates that are colder, it will be expedient to buy and install Styrofoam cups which ascribe to spigots and provide additional insulation. Avoid turning your heat off completely during the wintertime, and always be aware of the location of the main water valve for the purpose of turning it off for an emergency whenever the need arises.
7. Check your Foundation for Proper Drainage and Cracks – The winter season generally brings a great deal of snow and rain. If water is not draining away from the house properly, then it could stand still and ultimately move towards the house and right into the walls. Ensure that the hose extensions and downspouts are directed away from your house.
8. Check your Fireplace – To save heating costs and energy ensure the fireplace damper is firmly closed when not in use. If your chimney top is not totally covered, you should consider buying a shielding cap for it with a good screen.