Preparing your home for winter
Are you prepared for the winter, and is your home ready as well? If not, here are 10 tips that will help you prep your house for the season.
- Check on your home’s heating system. Don’t wait until it’s freezing! Check your heating system before winter comes to make sure it’s still working properly. Doing this as early as the first leaves of autumn fall can give you plenty of time to repair what needs repairing.
- Have a ceiling fan? Follow this step. Not a lot of homeowners with ceiling fans know that you can use this fixture to heat your home during the winter. Check your ceiling fan if it has a reverse switch, which will reverse the blades’ rotation. This will create an updraft that will allow heated air to be pushed down into the room.
If it’s effective enough for you, this can help you lower your energy costs as you won’t need to turn your thermostat on.
- Fix air leaks. Hire a contractor to identify any air leaks and insulation issues in your home’s structure. This will help prevent the formation of ice dams and icicles come winter.
- Scan the roof. Before it totally gets covered with snow and ice, climb a ladder and scan your roof to look for any damage or missing shingles. Don’t forget to check the flashing seals around chimneys and vent stacks as well.
- Check exterior faucets. Avoid frozen and damaged pipes by turning off your exterior faucets. Disconnect all garden hoses and leave them to drain the remaining water out of the faucets. You might also want to install downspout extensions to divert water from your home’s foundation.
While you’re at it, it is important to drain your lawn-irrigation system. We don’t recommend a DIY job — a professional will handle it better. The cost depends on the size of the system.
- Ditch the rake and mow leaves instead. To help nourish your lawn’s soil over the winter, mow your leaves into dime-sized pieces that will help its decomposition process. To do this, swap your lawn mower’s cutting blade for a mulching blade. It can take a bit of work — several passes might be needed to get the desired results.
- Prepare your mower for storage. Speaking of your lawn mower, avoid any engine difficulty once winter breaks by adding stabilizer to the mover’s fuel. This will help extend the freshness of the fuel. Fill the gas tank with more stabilized fuel and run the engine for a short while before stashing the mover away. To be safe, read your mower’s cold-weather storage manual.
- Wait until late winter to prune trees. According to horticulturalists, waiting to prune until late winter is much more beneficial than during autumn. This can help prepare your trees for springtime. For specific advice on how to deal with a plant or tree local to the region, consult the local gardeners based at your town’s nursery.
- Sweep your chimney. Before you burn some logs in the fireplace, make sure to clean the chimney and the vents before winter. Make necessary repairs as well. This will help keep carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.
- Buy winter essentials. Before winter arrives, make the trip to the supermarket or the warehouse to restock on winter essentials like ice melt and salt.