How to prep your home for winter
By the time Old Man Winter arrives for the season, your home should be ready for whatever he has up his sleeve — the last thing you want to deal with on a freezing, snowy day is a clogged chimney, burst pipe or a drafty window! This winter maintenance checklist will help to prevent any damage to your home this winter.
- Get your furnace serviced by an HVAC professional.
An HVAC checkup every fall will help make sure your furnace is running smoothly and efficiently by the time the cold weather sets in. If you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a digital, programmable one to save money on heating costs. Make sure the HVAC vents in your floors or ceiling are free of any obstructions, too.
- Inspect and clean out your chimney.
If you have a fireplace or woodstove, it’s extremely important to make sure the chimney and vents are clean and in good condition. Having your chimney cleaned and/or inspected by a professional will help prevent chimney fires and any deadly carbon monoxide from building up inside your home.
- Clean out your gutters and inspect your roof.
Leaves, sticks and other debris have been building up in your gutters all fall. It’s important to clean them out before the snow arrives to prevent any potential leaks and water damage. Make sure that your downspouts face away from your home, and add downspout extenders if necessary. While you’re cleaning your gutters, inspect your roof for any missing or damaged shingles.
- Check your windows and doors for leaks.
To prevent heat loss, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and there are no drafts coming through. Inspect the weather stripping around windows and door frames, and replace or caulk where necessary. Consider covering any large, drafty windows with plastic window film for added protection from drafts and to help keep heat inside your home.
- Trim any trees close to your home.
The last thing you need is a snowstorm breaking any tree branches that are hanging over your roof, windows or near power lines. Make sure to trim limbs or branches surrounding your home, ensuring they are at least 3 feet away from the house.