After a long, enjoyable summer of cooking, swimming in the pool, and lounging on the porch swing, it’s time to prepare for winter. Winter is one of the most expensive seasons for homeowners because you have to take steps to prepare your home for cold weather.
Preparing your home for winter can be overwhelming when you consider that precautions must be taken at all levels of your house. Before you reach for that shovel, here are some things you should do to prepare your home:
1. Clear the Gutters and Repair Any Damage
One of the first things homeowners must do is clear their gutters and repair any damage. Fall leaves can easily clog a gutter during the winter, leading to water damage in your living space. If your gutters have a lot of damage or you don’t have them, it’s time to get them fixed before the snow starts falling. You can contact local gutter installers for more information about how to prepare your gutter for winter weather.
2. Clean or Replace Your Air-Conditioning Filters Regularly
Air conditioners and heating systems rely on filters to keep your home clean and operating at peak performance. If your filter is full of debris or hasn’t been changed in several months, it’s time to do so now. You’ll want to clean the filter every six months or as soon as it becomes dirty. Air conditioners will work harder and longer if the filters aren’t changed regularly, which can lead to damage that could cost you more money because you need a new compressor.
3. Clean Your Furnace Filter
This is essential, especially after heavy winter storms pass through the area. For climate-controlled houses like yours, it’s important to keep your furnace clean. If the furnace filter isn’t changed regularly, it can clog up along with other debris and lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
4. Insulate Either the Ceiling or Walls of Your Basement
One of the best ways to keep your basement warm during the winter is to insulate the ceiling or walls. This will keep cold air from seeping through foundation cracks and entering your home. Another thing you can do to insulate your basement is to add a new door that seals tightly. If you have a large opening, you can block it off with an uninsulated door that you plan on replacing in the future with something more energy efficient.
5. Seal Leaks in Your Foundation with Caulk or Weather Stripping
One of the biggest ways excess cold air seeps into your home during the winter is through windows and doors. You can fix this problem by adding weather stripping or caulk around areas that leak cold air.
6. Put Storm Windows on Your Windows and Replace Any Cracked Windows with New Ones
Even though you’ve already sealed off leaks in your foundation, protecting your home from outside elements is still important. Cracked, damaged, or old windows should be replaced with new ones, and storm windows should be placed on the outside of them to prevent damage from ice or water leaks.
7. Replace Any Water Hoses Before Freezing Temperatures Hit the Area
Even though you’ve ensured your home is protected by weather protection and you have a heater or air conditioner, your outdoor plumbing can still leak in the winter. You can check to make sure this hasn’t happened by checking around your house for any drips or leaks on the ground. If you find any leaks, take immediate action by replacing them with new hoses before freezing temperatures hit.
8. Have Your Heating System Inspected
Before turning your heating system on for the first time this winter, you should have it inspected to ensure it’s in good working order. This includes checking the air filter, flue, and thermostat for problems. Having your heating system inspected before you turn it on can save you a lot of money because you won’t have to replace a busted heater or furnace.
It’s a good idea to spend at least one weekend every year prepping your home for winter. By scheduling your home inspection, buying a new furnace, or adjusting your heat settings, you can prevent winter headaches by ensuring your home is protected from damaging temperatures.