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How to Prep Your Home for Winter

Sweaters and boots? Check. Winter jacket, gloves, and hats? Check. Now that you’re ready for winter, it’s a shame you can’t just put your home in a turtleneck and call it a day.

Preparing your home for winter has several stages and at times can feel like a daunting task. Taking the proper precautions can help you save some money, ease your stress, protect the durability of your home and in the end, help prepare your home for the cold months to come.

Break out your ugly holiday sweaters and grab whatever festive drink you prefer – here are a few tips we’ve prepared below to prep your home for winter.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME WARM DURING WINTER

Get your heating system inspected by a professional. While most furnaces or HVAC systems last around 12 – 15 years, it’s all about how you keep them maintained. It’s important that you get a professional HVAC technician to perform an inspection each year to make sure everything is working properly. These inspections can help tell if your system is clean, provide an efficiency rating, as well as detect and prevent carbon monoxide leaks.

Clean your wood fireplace and chimney. There’s no better sound than the crackle of a warm and cozy fire. That being said, it is wise to hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney as well as the base of the fireplace, prior to using it for the first time this winter. Ensure that you remove your ashes when cleaning your fireplace. This reduces the risk of hazardous build-up and by doing so, will allow plenty of air to get to the firewood so it can burn cleanly.

Getting your chimney cleaned/inspected is important because it can help you eliminate blockages such as animal nests and other build-ups that can impede smoke from releasing. Keeping your fireplace clean not only makes it aesthetically pleasing but it also makes it safer to use.

Adjust your ceiling fan direction to help you stay warm in the winter. If you have a ceiling fan, it’s important that you flip the switch located generally on the motor of the fan, so the blades rotate clockwise. Doing this will create an updraft thus pushing down the heated air you have flowing from your heating system. This tip could allow you to turn down your thermostat which in turn, can help you save some money.

Check your windows and doors for cracks and leaks. Weather strips are a great tool that can help you seal the heat in your home. Check all external doors and windows to see if there are gaps between the frame that can be sealed by using weather strips. If you already have weather strips, examine them to see if they are worn out and if they are, go ahead and replace them.

If your current doors and windows are dated, consider installing storm windows and doors to help keep cold winds out of your home during the winter.

Check indoor pipes for cracks and possible leaks. During winter indoor pipes can freeze and possibly burst due to standing water left in the pipes. To help avoid your pipes freezing, think about applying heat tape to them.

As an additional precaution, be sure everyone in your household knows how to turn off the main water supply in the incident that a pipe does burst. This will help mitigate any potential damages such as flooding.

EXAMINE THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME

Drain and check your outdoor pipes for cracks and leaks. It’s important that you check and drain all of your outdoor faucets and hoses. Storing them indoors is a great way to ensure that water does not freeze and damage them. If you have in-ground sprinklers, get those blown out so water isn’t left in the pipe. Proper draining will reduce the chances of your outdoor pipes being damaged.

Check your roof to help reduce potential roof damages. Look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may leak during winter storms or from melting snow. Furthermore, remove leaves and pines that have accumulated on your roof from fall, as they can retain water and make your roof heavier. This can cause additional problems such as cave-ins and leaks.

Prepare your gutters for winter. When leaves pile up in your gutters this can cause water to overflow and run down the sides of your home causing icicles to form. Not only are icicles themselves dangerous, but they also add weight to your gutters and can damage them.

In addition, over time this can lead to the deterioration of the exterior of your home. One thing you can do to help protect your house is to purchase gutter extensions. Doing so can help you divert water away from your foundation and prevent water from leaking into your home.

Be sure to check the trees surrounding your home that may be hazardous. When snow gets packed on tree branches, they can become heavy and more susceptible to breaking. Not only can this cause harm to your home, but it poses a significant risk to you and your family.

Be sure to look around and inspect all of your trees and trim branches that may be too close to your house, cars, or power lines. Generally, your branches and limbs should be about 10-20 feet away from your roof but be sure to judge the height of the tree against its distance.

Until someone creates those giant turtlenecks for homes, it’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure your home is prepared to handle the winter season. Doing so can help leave you less stressed and it can possibly help you save some money in the long run. Feel free to refer to this guide on how to prepare your home for winter every year.

Have additional tips you’d like to share? Reach out to us on social media and let us know what you do to prepare your home for winter.