Winter weather can be tough on your home, but spending time this fall to properly prepare for the cooler months can save you time, and hassle in the long run. Here are 10-step winter home checklist of tasks that can help get your home ready for winter.
1. Clean gutters
Once most of the leaves have fallen, give your gutters and downspouts a good cleaning. When not properly maintained, clogged gutters can cause damage to your home.
2. Check or replace weatherstripping
Gaps in weatherstripping can allow heat to escape during cooler months. If you already have weatherstripping, make sure it’s in good condition — and replace it if it is not. This simple task can keep you warmer this winter and you could also see the effects on your energy bill.
3. Rake leaves
Sure, a blanket of leaves in your yard is very picturesque. But if you don’t rake them, they can actually mold and cause quite a bit of damage to your lawn. You’ll thank yourself next spring for getting those leaves raked up, bagged, and out of there.
4. Have the roof inspected
Hire a professional to inspect your roof before the winter weather strikes. This way, if a repair is needed you can have it fixed before winter even begins.
5. Winterize outside faucets & spigots
If you live in an area where winter temperatures drop (or remain) below freezing, make sure to close any shut-off valves to outside facets and open the faucet to drain the line. This will keep your pipes from freezing and causing damage to your home.
6. Inspect the furnace
Before you need to turn on your heat, make sure your furnace is in good working order. Go ahead and replace your furnace filter, too — it’s a task that really should be done monthly.
7. Have the fireplace inspected
The last thing you want to use is a fireplace that hasn’t been properly maintained. If you plan to use your fireplace this winter, have it professionally inspected and cleaned to make sure it’s safe for use.
8. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide filters
The number of accidental house fires tends to spike during fall and winter holidays, so replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide filters to make sure they’re in working order.
9. Don’t turn off the heat when you leave town
It can be tempting to turn off your heat and save a little money if you’re traveling this winter, but it could actually end up costing you more. The Red Cross recommends keeping the temperature of your home at 55 degrees or warmer to keep your pipes from freezing.
10. Restock winter necessities
Especially if you live in an area that is prone to severe winter weather, spending a little time locating or restocking your winter necessities can be a very wise decision. Make sure you have ice scrapers in all of your vehicles, have a snow shovel or two handy, and acquire any car necessities you might need during the winter months should you experience car trouble, a power outage, or severe weather.
After following these 10 simple tips, your home should be fully ready for winter. Bring on that snow!