The Cold is Coming: Prepare Your Home For Winter

Posted: November 14, 2016 11:16 am

 

You know when it’s time to change the clocks back an hour that Old Man Winter is about to hit. I know this may make some of you heave a big sigh, as frigid temperatures can certainly put a damper on outside activities. Still, there are plenty of fun things to do inside the home, but before you get all toasty in front of the fire place, there are some things you should do now to prepare your home for the winter!

Why prepare your home for winter?

Preparation goes a long way in many areas of life and winterizing your home is no exception. Why should you take the time to learn about winterization? Because with one freezing cold night or a wintry blizzard your water pipes could freeze and bust wide open, causing a flood and damaging your home. Built up ice in your gutter can cause melting snow to slide down and saturate the walls inside your home. The truth is that preparation will save your house some unwanted occurrences and lower your energy bills at the same time.

If you happen to live in a region where you are prone to freezing temperatures and snow, here are some practical ways you can prepare your home for winter:

Outside

  • Disconnect your hoses and turn off the hose valves.
  • Cover your patio furniture with a tarp or move it inside the garage or shed to protect it from the rain and snow.
  • Check to see that your lights have working bulbs so that you can see great in the dark during the winter outside.
  • Bring in any plants or trees that could die from frigid temperatures.

Inside the home

  • If your walls or attic are not properly insulated, you should have a professional install it. Adding insulation to the attic floor is recommended to reduce the amount of heat rising through the attic
  • Wrap your hot water heater with an insulated blanket
  • To slow heat transfer in the water pipes, wrap them with insulation
  • If you have fire place, check it for drafts and have a professional check it for any fire hazards.
  • Turn your ceiling fans to clockwise position so that they will blow warm air down.
  • Replace the air filter in your furnace
  • Put new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Windows and Doors

  • Caulk and weather-strip any doors or windows that are letting air in. Check for drafts!
  • If you have screen doors, replace them with storm doors.
  • Window screens can be replaced with storm windows.
  • Check window frames to see how they’re doing. Are they rotting? If so, repair or replace.
  • Inspect each window for cracks

Roof

  • If your roof is an older roof, have a professional contractor check to see if it will hold up under large amounts of snow.
  • Take a look to see if any tree branches are hovering over your home or your neighbor’s home that could break when snow lands on them. Weighted down branches can snap off the tree and damage your home
  • Clean your gutters. If you cannot do it yourself, hire someone to do this for you.

Taking the time to winterize your home can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Not only will you be making your home more energy efficient, you’ll also spare yourself from having to contend with unfortunate circumstances that could have been avoided.