5 Easy Ways to Get Your Home Winter Ready

No one likes to wake up in the middle of the night to a frozen, burst pipe or realize in the dead of winter that the old roof has developed leaks and might possibly collapse. I know exactly what that feels like. So before Old Man Winter makes his chilly entry, I put together a checklist of things I need to do to make the house more cozy and comfy, not to mention energy-efficient so that I can avoid paying more than I need to on our utility bills. This is the checklist I prepared. Feel free to add any tips of your own that I may have missed out on.

heating-system

Tuning up the Heating System

  • Get the heating system cleaned and serviced before the onset of winter every year by an HVAC professional.
  • Dirt can clog up the filters of a furnace, so put in a new filter and buy half a dozen of them and change them promptly every month all through winter so your heating system won’t have to labor twice as hard.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat and pre-set the times you need to turn on the heating. Turn back the thermostat by 8-10 degrees for 8 hours a day – this can save you almost 10% on your heating bills in winter. Not bad, eh?

Window and Door Maintenance

Check all doors and windows for gaps and leaks. Holding a lighted candle near doors and windows is the fastest way to detect leaks – if the flame flickers, you’ve got drafty windows.

  • If you notice even a thin sliver of light filtering in through the door, it’s an indication that the door needs to be weather-stripped. Use high quality tape to weather-strip doors and windows for better insulation.
  • You can also use foam sealant to caulk small gaps in windows which can be easily removed with a blade once winter dissolves into spring.
  • If the winter in your area is severe and you won’t be opening the window at all, caulk the sash.

If I have my way this year though, we won’t have to do any window maintenance this year. We’ve been looking at replacing our old windows with vinyl replacement windows from Fairclaims Roofing and Construction since they’re giving us a good discount if we get all the windows of our home replaced. That should considerably reduce our utility bills. Getting energy-efficient windows is worth considering.

basement-insulation

Attic and Basement Insulation

  • Use blow-in insulation that’s composed of pieces of cellulose to keep the house warmer.
  • Weather-strip the attic hatch that prevents warm air from escaping out from the top of the house.
  • Use rolls and precut batts of fiberglass available at Home Depot or Lowe’s to insulate crawlspaces and basements.
  • You can also use foam board insulation to cover basement walls and prevent loss of heat.

Contact Precision Roofing to Get Your Roof Prepared For Winter

  • Replace battered shingles or tiles.
  • Also look for leaky gaps on the roof and repair them before winter sets its grip.

Prep up your Garden and Yard

  • Get rid of the layer of thatch that builds over the soil and encourages the growth of mass while killing grass and blocking drainage. Rake the fallen leaves and use them as compost.
  • Mow the grass and keep it as short as possible, especially if you live in very cold places.
  • Trim branches that are perilously close to houses and rooftops.
  • Move delicate potted plants that can’t stand extreme cold inside.
  • Cover the patio furniture or bring it inside.
  • Drain the hose and empty the water lines that comprise the irrigation system so they don’t burst due to extreme cold.

There are several other things you can do such as preparing an emergency kit especially if you live in places with heavy snowfall. Keep a stock of blankets/warm clothes, candles, matchsticks, potable water and nonperishable food items, flashlights with spare batteries, and extra heating fuel and be prepared if a blizzard strikes.

I hope you, too, can save yourself the expense and stress of expensive repairs later on by following the checklist above. We can then give a warm welcome to Jack Frost with open arms!

He is a gardening expert and enthusiast about his home decor and gardening. He writes for a number of online gardening publications and decorating tips on various subjects.