With winter right around the corner, it’s always better sooner than later to think about getting your house ready for the cold months so you can keep your home nice and cozy all winter without letting the heat out or having repairs to do when spring rolls around finally. A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes – and this is doubly true when it comes to your home.
Clean Your Gutters
We all tend to forget our gutters are there since they’re high up and we can’t easily see that they need to be cleaned, but your gutters can easily get clogged with leaves and other debris. If your gutters get backed up, this can easily allow rainwater or snowmelt to back up onto the roof and seep under the shingles, causing leaks and damage to the roof and the underlayment. While you’re up there – be sure to take a peek at your roof and make sure there are no piles of dead leaves on the roof itself as these can also trap moisture and rot your shingles if left for long enough.
Seal Windows and Doors
While your home might be well insulated, the same can’t always be said for your windows and doors – they’re probably the biggest sources of potential heat loss in an average home, especially if the seams around the windows and doors leak. Draft stoppers can be applied to the bottom of doors to prevent cold air from entering your house while the seams around the windows should be recaulked if necessary. You can also put insulating films on the insides of windows to help reduce heat loss from the windows as well.
Inspect Your Chimney
There’s nothing like a crackling fire on a cold winter night, but a chimney fire isn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to end the evening. If your chimney hasn’t been inspected and swept yet this year, it’s always a great idea to schedule a check-up. Creosote build-up inside the chimney from routine use can cause the chimney to catch on fire or even block it, causing a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide fumes in your home.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
This is a very easy measure you can take that will help keep you a bit warmer during the winter – simply set any ceiling fans in your home to rotate clockwise. Warm air near the ceiling will be pulled downwards and help save a little bit on your energy costs – just make sure you reverse them when warmer weather comes.
Inspect The Furnace and Ducts
Got a furnace? Make sure you have it inspected now to make sure it’s in top operating condition for winter. Also – have your ducts inspected for leaks so you’re not wasting additional energy and money on keeping your home warm over the winter.
Insulate Your Pipes
If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are common – pipes freezing are a very real danger that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Protect all exposed pipes in areas like the garage and basement by wrapping them in foam insulating sleeves. If your outside water lines such as hose bibs are connected separately from the inside, shut off the water supply over the winter.
Inspect The Garage Door
This is one area that gets overlooked by many people, but it’s always a great idea to make sure your garage door is in good shape for the winter. Check the weatherstrip along the bottom of the door and make sure it seals tightly to prevent water and wind-blown debris from getting into the garage. Plus, check that the outside of the garage door is in good shape – if metal, rust can take a toll on the door over the winter while wood is susceptible to water damage.