As the leaves begin to change color and the temperatures start to drop, you know that winter is on its way. While winter can be a magical time of year, it can also be tough on your home. From freezing temperatures and high winds to ice and snow, your home takes a beating during the winter months. That’s why it’s important to take the time to prepare your home for winter before the cold weather hits. Here are 15 ways to do just that:
1. Inspect your roof
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is to inspect your roof. Look for any loose or missing shingles and make sure that your gutters and downspouts are in good working order. This will help prevent any water damage that could occur during the winter months.
2. Check your windows and doors
Make sure that all of your windows and doors are properly sealed and caulked. This will help keep out any drafts and prevent heat loss. You should also check the weatherstripping around your doors to ensure that it is in good condition.
3. Clean up your yard
Remove any dead leaves or branches from your yard so that they don’t get blown around by strong winds or accumulate snow on them which could lead to damage. It’s also a good idea to trim back any trees or shrubs near your house so that they don’t damage your siding or roof if they were to fall during a winter storm.
4. Service your furnace
Before you turn on your furnace for the season, have a professional come out and service it. This will help ensure that it is running efficiently and doesn’t break down when you need it most. So get that heater repair done. Additionally, be sure to change your furnace filter regularly throughout the winter months.
5. Insulate your pipes
One of the biggest dangers during winter is frozen pipes which can burst and cause extensive water damage in your home. To prevent this from happening, be sure to insulate all of the exposed pipes in your home, especially those in unheated areas like attics or crawlspaces. You should also let a slow drip of water run from faucets served by exposed pipes when temperatures are expected to plunge below freezing. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your pipes stay safe all winter long.
6. Change your thermostat settings
During the winter, you’ll want to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, but you don’t want to waste money by heating your home more than necessary. A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees at night.
7. Weatherstrip your doors and windows
Gaps and cracks around doors and windows can let cold air into your home and cause your energy bills to skyrocket. To help prevent this, apply weatherstripping around all of your doors and windows.
8. Install storm doors and windows
Storm doors and windows provide an extra layer of protection against the elements. If you live in an area that experiences severe weather conditions, consider installing storm doors and windows to help protect your home.
9. Inspect and clean your chimney
If you have a fireplace, it’s important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually to prevent fires from occurring.
10. Close off unused rooms
Heating unused rooms is a waste of energy and money. To save on heating costs, close off any rooms that you’re not using on a regular basis.
11. Reverse your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can be used year-round to help keep your home comfortable. In the winter, reversing the direction of your ceiling fans will push warm air down into the room, making it feel warmer without raising the temperature on your thermostat.
12. Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces
Adding insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce heat loss in your home and lower your energy bills during the winter months.
13. Install solar window film on south-facing windows
Solar window film reflects sunlight back outside, helping keep homes cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months by reducing heat loss through windows.
14. Seal air leaks around electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, and duct work
Air leaks can account for a significant amount of heat loss in homes. By sealing these leaks, you can help reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills.
15. Caulk gaps around exterior doors
Like air leaks, gaps around exterior doors can also contribute to heat loss in homes. Caulking these gaps will help seal in heat and reduce energy costs during the winter months
Winter weather can take a toll on your home if you’re not prepared for it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get your home ready for whatever mother nature throws its way. By following these tips, you can help protect your home from the elements and avoid any unnecessary repairs.