Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your home will keep it in top condition. Every homeowner should know how to winterize their home. There are a few steps you can do each year before the weather turns cold to save yourself time and hassle in the long run.
- Before winter hits, spend the necessary time and energy to maintain the HVAC system.
- Check HVAC system for overall efficiency
- Check for Carbon Monoxide Emission
- Replace disposable furnace filters
- If you have a permanent filter, make sure to clean it
- Remove or winterize any air conditioning units
WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE
- Check your water heater before winter weather hits. Check around the base for leaks. Check the temperature and that it is maintaining a proper setting (The Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees).
- Lower water temperatures can produce financial savings
ATTICS, VENTILATION, WINDOWS AND DOORS
- Check the insulation in the attic as this is the most significant area in terms of heat loss. Ensure that the attic has adequate ventilation, as inadequate ventilation can lead to premature deterioration of the insulation materials. Add insulation if it is running low
- In the spring and fall, with daylight savings time changes, replace smoke alarm and carbon monoxide batteries.
- Check all windows and doors for air leaks and install storm windows where possible. Add putty, caulk, weather stripping or plastic window covers as needed
- Check the insulation in the exterior walls, crawl spaces and along foundation walls
- Check all vents and make sure they are operating properly. Clean and vacuum baseboard heaters, heating ducts and vents.
- Have your chimney swept thoroughly, especially if you have a wood stove. Have your fireplace cleaned before the soot buildup reaches 1/4″ thick inside the chimney flue
- Check the basement and cellars for seal cracks or leaks in walls or floor
- Check attic vent openings for nests or other blockages
EXTERIOR HOME MAINTENANCE
- Caulk joints and minor cracks on exterior walls and siding
- Look for deteriorating finishes and patch minor problems
- Put bigger jobs, such as scraping and refinishing painted or stained areas, on the calendar for next spring or early summer.
- Clean storm drains, gutters and other drain pipes
- Check the foundation for proper drainage
- Seal driveway and walkway cracks, if needed, before ground freezes
- Inspect the roof for loose, damaged or missing shingles
WINTERIZING LANDSCAPING & OUTDOOR FURNITURE
- Store or cover outdoor furniture, toys and grills
- Ensure all snow removal supplies are on hand, including rock salt, shovels, blowers, and gasoline. Ensure the right kind of gas and oil is on hand for the snowblower in the event of an unexpected snowstorm
- Winterize irrigation systems and other exterior water lines to avoid frozen and broken pipes. Leave all taps slightly open.
- Check exterior spigots and insulate if necessary and other pipes that are subject to freezing but cannot be drained or shut off
- Rake and compost leaves and garden debris
- Ensure dirt or piles of wood do not come into contact with siding, inviting termites and carpenter ants into the house