Winterizing your home can seem like a large and intimidating task, but ensuring your home is properly prepared for winter can save you and your family money while simultaneously protecting the property of your home for years to come. Here are seven tips to help you winterize your home.
#1 Check Your Home’s Heating System
During fall, schedule a professional to come to your home and perform a routine check up of your heating system before the cold winter weather arrives. These professionals should be able to check heating components, replace furnace filters and vacuum vents. You can even have them install a setback thermostat, which keeps your home cooler when you are working away from home or are sleeping at night.
#2 Seal Any Exterior Cracks Check the Exterior
Start winterizing your home by giving the outside of your home a winter checkup. Walk around the perimeter and look for any cracks in the siding. Take a look at the roof and check for any missing roof tiles or shingles. After a fall rain, look for signs that water may not be draining properly. Fix any exterior problems while the days are still cool and not freezing cold.
#3 Clean Your Chimney
Although you may have given your fireplace a good cleaning before the holiday season, it’s always a good idea to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a chimney professional. Make sure you order enough firewood to get you through the cold winter months. If you don’t think you have enough, order more now before everyone stocks up for the season. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty when stacking firewood inside or even outside, put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from dirt and potential slivers.
#4 Trim Your Trees
Evaluate your yard, check all trees and larger shrubs and look for any potential hazards that may occur during a heavy snowstorm or ice storm. Bigger branches may need to be trimmed back or removed entirely. Better to fix a few tree branches now than deal with a fallen branch in the middle of winter! After you complete any outdoor work, give your driveway and walkways a clean sweep with a trusted outdoor broom.
#5 Insulate Your Windows
Keep winter drafts to a minimum by checking your home’s windows to make sure they are properly insulated. If you have storm doors and windows, install them before the weather gets too cold and while you’re at it, give them a good shine using the Scrunge®, which is extremely versatile to use for all cleaning projects. Don’t forget the basement! Replace any worn weather striping around doors and windows and fill in any gaps with caulk. These small steps will block any potential entry points for cold winter air.
Bonus Window Tip: If you have any window air-conditioning units, take them out and store them for next summer. If you choose to leave them in place, cover the outside unit with an insulated cover.
#6 Protect Your Pipes
Outdoors: Before winter sets in, prep the plumbing. Drain any water from outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have in-ground sprinkler pipes taken out or prepped for winter. Roll up garden hoses and store them inside. If you have outdoor fountains, securely cover them in plastic tarps.
Indoors: Check pipes to make sure there aren’t any frozen pipes come January. Identify any potential problem pipes that may be prone to freezing. If you live in a considerably colder climate, you can even use heat tape to keep indoor pipes warm during extreme temperatures. It’s also a good idea to teach everyone in your family how to turn off the water just in case a pipe does burst. Shutting off the water will minimize leaking if a pipe unfortunately freezes and bursts.
#7 Stock Up on Your Supplies
Make sure your snow shovels are in good condition before the winter weather strikes. Make sure shovels are accessible and stock up on sand or salt. (Looking for a quick and easy way to remove winter salt stains from your indoor floors? Try the ProMist® MAXMicrofiber Spray Mop or the EasyWring™ Spin Mop & Bucket System.) If you have a snow blower, let it run for a few minutes to make sure it still works and if it needs to be serviced, schedule a time now before the snow starts to fall.
Winterizing your home doesn’t have to be hard work. Use these seven tips to winterize your home this season and enjoy the winter weather from inside the warmth of your properly prepared home.