Get Your Home Ready for Winter (in a Weekend!)

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Get Your Home Ready for Winter (in a Weekend!)

Winter’s here to stay for a while. The leaves have been swept up and whisked away, mornings are frosty, and we’re leaving the house with hats and gloves.

Now’s the perfect time to make sure that your house is ready for winter too. Here’s a quick primer to get you prepared. An ounce of prevention now is worth pounds of cash later, so getting ahead of anticipated issues now should grant you a winter to truly enjoy.

Many of these items are small enough to tackle in one weekend:

  • Check your chimney for creosote buildup and cracks: Your local fire department may perform an inspection for free so you can enjoy some nice toasty fires stress-free.
  • Inspect your HVAC system: Have a technician ensure that your heat pump or furnace is functioning optimally and not leaking carbon monoxide.
  • Flush the water heater: Open the drain valve to flush out particles and other sediment to keep your heater operating efficiently.
  • Drain and turn off exterior water lines: Drain AC pipes and hoses as well as the drain pan. Then cover the unit. Also, safely stow your garden hoses after you’ve drained them. A professional can help you drain your lawn irrigation system.
  • Check your roof: Repair any missing or damaged shingles where snow can seep in.
  • Clean the gutters: To avoid icicles and ice dams.
  • Caulk around windows, both inside and out: If your gap is the width of a nickel or more, it’s important to keep cold and pests out with silicon caulk. Window glazing putty helps the panes.
  • Add window insulation: At around $12 for five windows, window insulation kits pay for themselves; these films hold up to 70% of the heat in.
  • Use draft guards and weather-strip tape: Keep cold air from creeping under doors and through windows this way too.
  • Replace air filters: This optimizes your heating and cooling systems while keeping you and your family healthier throughout the season.
  • Switch ceiling fans: This simple move saves energy. Clockwise spinning pushes the heat down.
  • Cover or move outdoor furniture and planting pots: You’ll be glad you did!
  • Shut off the gas line for an outdoor grill: Unless you plan to do some winter grilling….
  • Collect leaves with your mower: If you use a mulching blade to cut them into dime sized pieces, they’ll continue to fertilize your lawn all winter –plus you can skip the raking!

Phew. All done? Now you just need another weekend to relax. But you can enjoy that toasty fire, knowing that your home is ready to weather the weather.

What did we miss? Any other good winterizing tips or questions?

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