Winter is only a few short months away, and now is the time to start preparing your home for colder temperatures. To keep your home safe and warm this winter, follow this checklist to winterize your house:
Inspect your fireplace. If you plan on using your fireplace during the winter months, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a professional. He or she will check for creosote build-up, cracks in the chimney, nesting animals, and other issues. With a clean bill of health, you can safely light up a fire on the first cold day of winter.
Clean out your gutters. Give your gutters a final cleaning once all the leaves have fallen from the trees. This will ensure that your gutters are clear during the winter months to allow rain and melting snow to drain properly from your house.
Apply weather stripping and caulking as needed. A tight seal around windows and doors will prevent cold air from entering your home in the winter. Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows and replace any that is cracked or has fallen away. Caulking can also be used to seal holes and openings.
Clear your deck or patio. Cover your patio furniture and, if possible, bring it indoors for the winter. Take accessories and decorations indoors as well. Plants that you’d like to keep for the next year should also be brought inside before the first cold snap.
Service your HVAC system. Ensure that your family will stay warm this winter by having your HVAC system inspected before the weather turns cold. If you haven’t changed your furnace filter in a while, now is the time to do so!
Check your pipes. Turn off your outside water to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. Insulate exposed pipes in attics or crawl spaces with foam tubes, pipe wrap, or heat tape.
Trim trees and bushes. Bare branches are more likely to snap and fall in cold, windy weather. Cut back branches so that they won’t fall on your house during the winter.