Tips to prepare your home for colder temperatures ahead
Part of homeownership is caring for your household throughout the year. Whether you’ve winterized your house before, or this is your first year in your new home, our checklist will help prepare for the cold weather!
1. Clean the Gutters: Cleaning your gutters is an important part of winter prep. To prevent clogging throughout the colder months, clean the gutters of leaves and other debris as soon as the last leaves have fallen in the autumn. Clean gutters will also allow melting snow to drain properly.
2. Test your Smoke Detectors: Residential fires are more common in winter, so it is important that all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work. Be sure to check them monthly and replace batteries as needed.
3. Weatherproof Windows and Doors: Weather stripping and seals (or installing storm doors and windows) will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat from escaping it. Caulk holes and openings around windows, doors, air conditioners and mail chutes to help prevent cold air from seeping in. Additionally, to help keep chilly air from leaking in through window cracks, swap out the lightweight summer curtains with thermal lined curtains or drapes. All of this will help keep your home warm through the chilly months as well as lower your heating bill!
4. Check Your Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, you’ll want to make sure the chimney is clear of any soot and debris buildup before using it this season. A dirty chimney can be a fire hazard, so or hire a chimney sweep to ensure it’s clear. If you don’t actively use your fireplace, look into purchasing a chimney balloon. A chimney balloon inflates and acts as a barrier to prevent heat loss.
5. Protect Your Pipes: Be sure to check for blockages in your pipes, as a blocked pipe is more prone to cracking under extreme cold due to pressure build-up. Also, water expands when it freezes, so if the temperature drops below 32°F, your pipes can freeze and burst. Because of this, it’s important to winterize your pipes before the extreme cold sets in. Pipes in un-insulated areas, such as the garage, are very vulnerable to freezing during winter, so using tubular pipe wrap, rolled pipe wrap and insulation fittings can aid in keeping them from freezing. If you live in an older home, you may also consider opening the cabinet doors so warm air can surround the pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
No matter what winter looks like for you, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!