Preparing Your Home for the Winter

We are entering into the cold months and as the temperature begins to drop, your home will require maintenance. Winterizing your home is important to reduce the risk of potential damage from freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. It also protects your investment and keeps you and your family more comfortable inside your home during the chilly months. Use this checklist to ensure your home is ready for the upcoming cold season.

Heating system. Have a technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure the system is clean and working properly.

Water heater. Over time, particles and sediment collect in the bottom of water heaters. This will decrease the efficiency of the unit. Keep your water heater functioning at its best by flushing the water through the drain valve to clear out the material.

Ceiling fans. Turn your fan’s blades in the clockwise direction by using the ceiling fan switch located on the fan. This will create an updraft, pushing the heated air from the ceiling down into the room.

Air filters. Improve the efficiency and longevity of your central air and heating system by changing air filters regularly.

Chimney Balloon. In the wintertime, your chimney can be responsible for a large amount of heat loss. If your chimney is not in active use, consider plugging it with a chimney balloon to keep heat in.

Windows and doors. Reapply exterior caulk if there are gaps between siding and windows or siding and doorframes bigger than the width of a nickel. This will keep the interior of your home warmer in the winter. Window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows.

Draft guards. Heat can escape from under the door. Prevent this by placing draft guards underneath doors.

Lawn irrigation system. Call a professional to perform this job. Draining the sprinkler-system pipes and spigots will help keep them from freezing.

Lawn mower. Before storing your lawn mower away for the winter, follow these steps to avoid issues in the spring.

Prune trees and shrubs. Horticulturalists advise waiting to prune most plants until the late winter. If you need advice specifically for your plants or region, consult a master gardener at a local nursery, contact a landscaping professional, or call your county’s extension agent.

Gutters. Cleaning your gutters will ensure that water can flow freely. This will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming when it gets cold.

Stock up on winter essentials. It is important to ensure that your home is stocked with cold-weather essentials before a winter storms occurs. This winter storm prep list suggests items that you will want to have just in case.

Don’t wait before the cold weather approaches, take these preventative measures to protect your home through the chilly months!