Take steps to prepare your home for winter before inclement weather hits. While you can’t control the temperature outside, you can make sure your home is ready for whatever the season has in store. Here are a few helpful tips to feel prepared for the colder months ahead.
1. Prepare Your Home for Winter by Inspecting the Heating System
Have your home’s heating system inspected by a professional at least once a year. The HVAC technician will verify the filter is clean, the unit is operating efficiently, and the components of the heating system are in working order. You wouldn’t want it to fail in the middle of winter.
2. Protect the Pipes
Plumbing problems are challenging, especially when your pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures. There is little insulation in most basements and crawl spaces, and the water lines need protection.
Insulate your water lines, especially those that run along an exterior wall, with foam pipe insulation or heat tape to protect them from frigid temperatures. If the temperature is forecast to be below freezing, set your thermostat no lower than 55°. Open cabinets in the bathrooms and kitchen to allow the temperature-controlled air in your home to warm the pipes.
3. Reduce Fire Risk
Due to the increased use of space heaters, holiday lights, and candles during the winter months, there is an increased risk of electrical fires. Check electronics and appliances to verify the electrical cords are in good condition. If you notice a frayed or damaged appliance cord, wait to use it until repairs are made.
Keep flammable items away from heating sources, including draperies, upholstery, and furniture. Turn off the space heater when you leave the house or go to bed for the night.
4. Have the Chimney Cleaned to Prepare Your Home for Winter
If you intend to use your fireplace this winter, make sure your chimney is clean and in good condition. A professional chimney sweep can inspect for cracked bricks and mortar or leaks in the flue. Having the chimney checked by professionals is essential for safety reasons. If the chimney is damaged, repair it before you use the fireplace this season.
5. Seal Around Doors and Windows
Gaps, cracks, and holes around doors and windows allow cold outdoor air into your home. Air leaks make it more challenging to keep the living spaces at a comfortable temperature, and your heating system has to work harder to keep up. Keep your home warm and reduce energy bills by sealing gaps and cracks around windows and doors. Use silicone caulk or weatherstripping to block airflow and better insulation your home.
Before cold weather arrives, prepare your home for winter. You’ll save money on heating bills and create comfortable, cozy living spaces to enjoy during the year’s colder months.