As the leaves fall off the trees, so do the temperatures. It’s time to start thinking about preparing your home for the winter months. Proper winter home maintenance not only keeps your home cozy, but also helps you avoid potential costly repairs. Here are some tasks you should consider when getting your home winter ready:
1. Check your heating system
A functional heating system is critical for staying warm during the winter:
- Schedule a professional inspection – have an HVAC technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently.
- Change the air filters – replace or clean your HVAC system’s air filters to maintain good air quality and energy efficiency.
- Programmable thermostat – consider investing in a programmable thermostat to save on energy costs by adjusting the temperature when you’re away.
2. Inspect your home’s insulation
Proper insulation is essential for retaining heat and energy efficiency.
- The attic – to make sure there’s adequate insulation and prevent heat loss through the roof.
- Windows and doors – check for drafts around windows and doors and seal any gaps with weather stripping or caulk to prevent heat loss.
3. Service your winter equipment
If you use snow removal equipment or other winter tools, make sure they’re in working order and accessible:
- Snowblower – service your snowblower, change the oil, and check and replace the spark plug, if necessary.
- Shovels and salt – ensure shovels are accessible and you have ice melt and salt on hand for snow removal and safety.
4. Protect your pipes
Frozen pipes can lead to costly damage. Here’s how to protect your plumbing:
- Insulate exposed pipes – pipes in an unheated area like basements or crawl spaces should be properly insulated.
- Drip faucets – on extremely cold nights, allow faucets to drip slowly to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Disconnect hoses – outdoor hoses should be disconnected and stored for the winter.
5. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Safety should always be a priority. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly, and replace the batteries, if needed.
6. Prepare your outdoor space
Outdoor maintenance is crucial, too:
- Gutters – clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and water damage.
- Trim trees – prune overhanging branches that could fall under the weight of snow and cause damage.
- Winterize your garden – cover sensitive plants, bring outdoor furniture inside or store it so it doesn’t get damaged by exposure to winter conditions.
Winter home maintenance is essential for your comfort and safety. Be proactive and give yourself peace of mind so you can stay warm and cozy in the comfort of your home all winter long.
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