As the temperatures drop, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your house and making it more comfortable (and energy-efficient) for the colder months ahead. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for winter.
Get Your Home Ready for Winter with These Tips
1. Check for Drafts
Drafty windows and doors can make your home feel colder and drive up your heating bills. To check for drafts, hold a lit candle or stick of incense near the edges of your doors and windows. You’ve found an opening when the flame flickers or the smoke moves. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, seal them with weatherstripping or caulk.
2. Insulate the Pipes to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Pipes exposed to cold air are at risk of freezing and bursting, which could lead to severe water damage in your home. To prevent this, add pipe insulation to exposed plumbing pipes in your home (including those in your attic, basement, and crawl spaces). Insulation will help keep the water in the lines from freezing and will help protect the plumbing. If you live in an area with a frigid climate, wrap the pipes with heat tape to maintain a safe temperature.
3. Bring Patio Furniture Inside
If you have outdoor furniture or decorations, bring them inside before the first frost hits. The freezing and thawing cycles of fall and winter can damage patio umbrellas, lawn furniture, potted plants, and children’s toys. Keep your belongings safe indoors for the cold season.
4. Clean the Gutters
Clogged gutters will overflow, leading to problems such as water damage to your roof, mold growth on the siding, and basement leaks. Before winter arrives, clean the gutters and downspouts to remove leaves, pine needles, animal nests, and other debris. Use the garden hose to rinse the channels and make sure water drains from the downspouts.
5. Have the Furnace Serviced
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is to have your furnace serviced by a professional HVAC technician. The technician will test the system to verify it is running efficiently. You’ll feel peace of mind knowing the heating and cooling system won’t break down on the coldest day of the year.
Following these tips can help winterize your home and make it more comfortable (and energy-efficient) for the colder months ahead. Set aside time in your schedule to prepare your house for cooler temperatures.