Cold weather, cozy fires, and cups of hot cocoa are heading our way and we need to be sure that our homes are ready before we can really enjoy them. While you may think that you can just hope for the best and get through the winter, we can assure you that you and your home will be better off if you do a little preventative maintenance ahead of time.
Here are 6 things that we recommend that you do to make your home ready for this winter:
Check Your Furnace
There is nothing worse than switching on your furnace on that first cold morning and finding that your furnace isn’t working! We recommend getting your furnace cleaned and inspected regularly to ensure that it is in working order when you need it. You should also replace your furnace filter regularly to keep the air clean inside your home.
Keep the Water Flowing in Your Gutters
Ice jams can build quickly in gutters that are full of leaves and other debris. Therefore, we recommend cleaning out your gutters and downspouts thoroughly before winter begins. This little bit of maintenance will keep the water moving through your gutters and prevent ice jams that can damage your home.
Inspect Your Chimney and Fireplace
While we always recommend having your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned during the spring, it is never too late to have it completed. If you simply forgot about this chore, we urge you to have it done immediately. This will ensure that the soot and other debris that is inside will not catch on fire and that your fireplace and chimney are safe to use for the season.
Seal Your Doors and Windows
Any time that you feel cool air coming in through your windows and doors is never good. Not only is your furnace working harder to keep the air in your home warm, you are paying more for your energy bills. You may be able to caulk around these areas to seal them, but a better option might be to have them replaced.
Store Your Lawn Equipment Properly
You may be tempted to roll your lawn mower into your shed or garage and be ready to forget about it until next spring, but that would be a huge mistake. Mowers, and other equipment like trimmers and chippers can benefit from a little maintenance before they are tucked away for the winter. We recommend removing all the fuel, sharpening the blades, and cleaning all the dirt, oil, and debris off them. They should also be stored somewhere so they will not be damaged from the inclement weather.
Protect Your Pipes
Pipes can get too cold or freeze easily during the winter months, which is why you should take the time to protect them now. We recommend turning the water to your outdoor pipes off and draining the remaining water from them. You may even want to consider placing foam insulators over your outdoor faucets. The pipes in your attic, basement, and even your garage can get colder than the rest of the pipes in your home, since they are in unheated areas. These pipes should have insulation placed around them, as it will help keep them warmer and prevent them from freezing and bursting.
All these tasks will not take that long and you will save money in the long-term if you implement them now. Plus, by doing these things now, you will have more time for relaxing inside your home as the cold weather stays outside.