Must-Know Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Are the nights getting longer in your area? Do you feel the need to throw something on when going outside? Unfortunately, this means the winter is approaching. What you can expect in your near future are low temps, freezing snow, dangerous ice, and just overall chilliness in the air and thoughts of winterizing your home in the back of your head. Some are truly looking forward to winter, but they shall not be mentioned here.
All jokes aside, winter is a season that requires a bit more preparation than all the rest because it can leave some damage to your unprotected property. Plus, if you don’t winterize your home, you won’t have such a fun time yourself. To make sure your property is in top shape for winter, here’s how to prepare your house for the cold season and ensure all the safety, warmth, and comfort you can get:
Clean the gutters
Inspecting your roof before the winter comes is very important. Start from your gutters—clean them from debris and make sure water can run freely. While you’re up there, take a good look at your roof and notice any broken or misaligned shingles. All shingles need to be accounted for, crack-free, and properly placed to prevent leaks and draught.
Test your heating system
All heating bodies need to be serviced and tested every year, preferably before they need to be used. In case your expert detects any issues, you’ll have enough time to fix problems before the heating season starts. It’s necessary to inspect your furnaces, boilers, and chimneys and have your air filters replaced. Throughout winter, air filters should be replaced every two months; otherwise, you can risk impeded air flow and reduce the efficiency of your system. You can also invest in something more high-quality than a disposable filter, such as a reusable electrostatic filter.
Inspect and protect the pipes
Prior to the chilly winter, your plumbing has to be maintained. Make sure to empty any exterior faucets you may have. Close the valves to the outside water supply first to prevent blocked and frozen drains. Open the faucet and remove the bleeder cap to discharge any water that may be trapped in the pipe. If a frozen pipe is not drained, it may still break. A bucket underneath should be left with the bleeder cover off to catch the drips.
Seal the windows and doors
If you want to make sure you’re warm and toasty in your place without having to crank up your thermostat, it’s necessary to reexamine your insulation. Pay special attention to all holes, cracks, and seams that can cause you to lose a lot of your precious heat. Tackle holes and cracks around windows, doors, pipes, outlets, and mail chutes with caulk and prevent cold air from getting in and warm air from escaping. Your safest bet is to invest in professional-grade acrylic latex caulk or foam sealant. For additional protection, you can also put weather stripping along your windows and doors and ensure minimal heat loss all throughout winter.
Test your smoke and CO detectors
Did you know that house fires are much more likely to happen in winter? Don’t risk anything with your faulty smoke detectors but get them fixed ASAP. Throughout the winter, check your detectors every month and make sure to keep the batteries fresh. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is a must. It can be very dangerous, even deadly, to be trapped inside with toxic gas.
If you get a lot of rain, snow, and ice in winter, make sure your outdoor areas are safe to use. Start by cleaning your driveway, sidewalk, and paths, repairing any cracks in the concrete, fixing faulty steps, and fastening the handrails. Stock up on winter weather necessities like deicing salt and keep it somewhere handy for sprinkling on the patio, steps, and driveway. If you have a garage or a carport, make sure they offer the best safety for your vehicle.
Prepare your yard for winter
Your garden will undoubtedly suffer a bit throughout winter, but if you do the proper maintenance, your plants can welcome spring without damage. Take one day to trim the trees and remove all branches that seem dead or hang dangerously close to your house. Under the weight of snow, ice, and wind, branches can fall and cause damage to your property or even endanger someone’s life.
If you winterize your home with all of the suggestions above, you can relax and wait for winter peacefully, knowing that your property is protected, your family is comfortable and your energy bills are low.
About the author: Stella van Lane is a passionate traveler and writer, in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes.