Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Home for Winter

The coming winter means preparing now for cold winds, snow and ice attacking the exterior of your home.

Somehow, the end of 2015 is almost here.  And although the U.S., especially the northeast, has been experiencing higher than average temperatures recently, you still need to prepare for winter.  That means replacing the T-shirts hanging in your closet with clothes to take on the fall and winter months. But have you also done all you can preparing your home for the upcoming cold season?  By taking some preventative steps now, you can lower your energy bills, increase the safety of your home and make sure all of your home’s equipment is running up smoothly once Old Man Winter really comes knocking.

Keep the Cold Out and the Heat In

– Check the weatherstripping around windows and doors for escaping air.  Replace weatherstripping or caulk where necessary.

– Replace window and door screens with storm windows and doors.  Heavier curtains can also minimize a draft.

– Have a fireplace?  Check its damper for any warping and rusting that could cause a draft.

Protect the Outside of Your Home from the Elements

– Clean the gutters.  Check that all gutters are secured properly as the weight of ice and snow can pull them off of your home.

– Close all vents and other openings are covered to prevent unwanted guests getting inside.

– Check your roof to look for damaged or loose shingles which may cause leaks from melting snow.

Front and Backyard

– Protect against pipe bursts by shutting off all exterior faucets and drain the remaining water from pipes, valves and sprinkler heads.

– Prevent slipping on icy walkways at night by ensuring proper lighting in outdoor areas.

– Put away any lingering outdoor furniture.

Heating and Ventilation

– Clean/replace the air filter in your furnace or heat pump to improve efficiency and air quality.  It could be a good idea to have a technician come inspect your system as well.

– Bleed valves on hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency.

Prepare for Snow

– Get the shovels and snow blowers out of hiding and put them in an easily accessible place.

– Stock up on ice melt, salt or sand for steps, walkways and driveways.

 

The winter is a time to cozy up in the family room in front of the fireplace in comfort; and nothing can ruin those times like damage to your home.  So always be sure to prepare your home before the snow falls!

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