Now that summer is winding down, it’s time to get your home ready for winter. We’ve gathered together a list of what we believe are the 5 most important things to do before the snow starts falling.
If you can squeeze in one task each weekend between now and Halloween, you’ll be putting your feet up by the fireplace long before your neighbors! 🙂
Step 1: Check your heating sources
We’re all guilty of ignoring our furnaces—until they break. If it’s been a few years (or longer), hire a professional for a basic furnace maintenance check. If nothing else, make sure you clean or replace the filters, and check your home’s air ducts and vents to ensure open circulation.
Planning to use your fireplace or woodstove this winter? Hire a professional chimneysweep to inspect and clean your chimney. Remember, hot fires using well-seasoned wood produce less creosote, which keeps your chimney cleaner, longer!
Step 2: Store your outdoor furniture
Get a warm sudsy bucket of water, a sturdy rag, and wipe down any dirt, dust, pollen or cobwebs from your outdoor tables, chairs, and barbecue.
Send the cushions to a dry cleaner if they got stained over the summer.
Oil your barbecue grill’s moving parts, clean the cooking surface, and give it a rub of oil too.
Once everything is dry, cover each piece with a tarp or made-to-fit covers, which you can find at most larger hardware and home supply stores.
Raise furniture legs off the ground to help water from reaching the feet, which can rust or rot wooden legs. Look for plastic spiked carpet protector feet (shown at right)—place them spike-side-up underneath each foot of your outdoor tables and chairs to lift them off the ground and provide maximum air circulation—especially important for teak and other furnishings.
Where possible, bring everything under a covered area, or up against the house under the eaves to provide added weather protection.
Step 3: Wrap your pipes
Pipes that are located in unheated areas of your home can burst during severe weather, causing water leaks and damage. Because unheated areas are often seldom visited, the leaks and damage can go undiscovered for a while, causing an even bigger problem. Depending on what type of pipes you have in your home, consider purchasing and wrapping these areas with pipe insulation materials.
CLICK HERE for more great info about protecting your pipes during winter.
Step 4: Clear Away Leaves and Branches
Keeping your gutters and roof clean and clear can prevent all sorts of damage to your home—from the gradual build-up of ice dams that can rot your home’s eaves, to more severe damage to gutters and roofs from branches that fall under the weight of a heavy snow.
Need a good gutter cleaning company and/or tree trimming service? Give us a call for a referral!
Step 5: A Few Little Things
You’ve made so much progress with the first four steps, now you’re ready to reward yourself with these remaining small and super-easy tasks:
- Change all the batteries of your smoke detectors (and any other alarm systems in your home).
- Check all the windows of your home (basement and attic included) to make sure one hasn’t been left open from the summer.
- Heaters run more often in the winter; set your thermostat on a timer to save a little money during those times that no one is home.
- Consider purchasing door draft stoppers for those doorways that always have cold air coming from underneath.
- If your home has a ceiling fan, reverse the blades to run clockwise: this will help bring warm air from the ceiling back down to the rest of the room.
- Last but not least, reward yourself with a cup of crock pot hot cocoa! 🙂