Oh the weather outside is frightful – btw, did you winterize your home?
As grown ups, we’ve got lists and lists and lists of things we need to take care of. All the time. And we are very seldom listless. But of all the lists, this one is pretty important: preparing and maintaining your home for the winter. With the list below, and checkin’ it twice, you can avoid expensive or unexpected repairs so you can properly enjoy the cozy comfort of a delightful fire…
Can you feel the heat?
- Have your furnace/heating/central HVAC system professionally inspected (its an annual thing)
- Turn your thermostat to heat mode and set it to 75-80. You should hear the furnace turn on and feel warm air pumping. Done.
- Save energy by programming your thermostat to the times you are home. You might consider upgrading to a smart thermostat that learns from the temperature changes you make throughout the day/night and it programs itself. Many smart thermostats also have an ‘eco’ setting that helps save energy while you’re away and for when you’re home.
- Replace the air filter: every furnace has its own requirements for air filters but be sure you’ve got a fresh one — it will ensure easy air flow and a cleaner environment
- Check the fuel supply! If you have a propane or fuel furnace, check that your tank is topped off
- Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in working order
Get more heating tips here.
- Prevent drafts by inspecting windows and doors for cracks and replace weather stripping if needed
- Make sure the locks on your windows are working and securely closing windows
- Take the trek up to your attic, monsters and all, and increase attic insulation if you’re concerned about heat loss through the roof
- Remove and store any window mounted AC units
- Seal an unused fireplace – you can place a piece of fiberglass insulation behind a fireplace screen to block cold air coming down the chimney. This will of course need to be removed if and when you use the fireplace.
Read more draft details here.
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Book a professional chimney sweep. The tech will clear obstructions, check the damper and chimney draft and clean it out. Also, its an annual thing.
Pro tip: book your chimney sweep in the summer when their schedules are wide open!
Keep your pipes warm!
Burst pipes from freezing weather are a homeowners’ nightmare. So:
- Insulate any exposed piping on the exterior of your home or in the attic or basement.
- Make sure your exterior faucet (that works hard all summer with your hose), is turned off! And that the hose is drained of any water
More tips for keeping your pipes from bursting here.
It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts!
- Inspect your gutters and drain pipes and make sure they are cleared – wet leaves freezing over the winter in your gutter never ends well. Most professional landscaping companies can be hired to check this one off the list.
- If you have a sprinkler system, be in touch with the lawn service that handles it and have them come to drain and winterize no later than October.
- Cover your patio furniture and move your umbrellas in the basement to be stored.
- Clean and cover your grill!
For more exterior winterizing tips, click here.