The change in season—and temperatures—means it’s time to get your home ready to make it through winter weather in top condition. Protect your investment in your home with a winter-readiness task list:
1. Clean Your Gutters
Make sure water can flow freely through your gutters. This will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming and possibly causing roof damage.
2. Have Your Furnace Serviced and Replace Filters
Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace. A tech will clean the furnace to remove duct, replace filters and ensure dangerous exhaust isn’t venting into your home.
3. Seal Drafts
For doors, install weather-stripping on the jam and door, plus a sweep at the bottom. For windows, put foam or rubber stripping on the top and bottom and seal sides with removable strips.
4. Trim Dead Limbs
Trees branches can become heavy with ice. If those branches are weak they can break off and cause damage to your home or car.
5. Replace Missing Roof Shingles
Now is the time to replace any missing or damaged shingles. Water leaks are always a problem, but in winter the water can freeze and crack wood.
6. Drain Water Lines
If you have a sprinkler system, turn off the water that feeds the lines and have them professionally blown out to avoid frozen, cracked pipes. Also remove garden hoses and cover hose bibs with insulated covers.
7. Caulk it Up
Gaps in siding, windows or doors should be filled with caulk. Do this outside and—after temporarily removing moldings—inside.
8. Fiberglass Insulation
Pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms and window AC units. Also, make sure your attic floor is properly insulated.
9. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat to lower heat bills (as much as 1% according to the Department of Energy) by keeping the temp down when you’re not at home.
10. Chimney Balloon
You lose a lot of heat up an unused chimney. Consider using a chimney balloon to keep heat in and cold air out.