The cold winter months are inevitable. Here are a few easy steps you can do to prepare your home for anything this winter has to throw at us.
Clean the Gutters: In this step, you’ll need to get on the roof to gain access to the eaves troughs. It is always a great idea to have someone hold the ladder while the other is climbing. After you have cleared the troughs and drains, rinse away any left over debris. Clean gutters will help extend their life as well as help drain water easier once spring starts.
Check and Fix Leaks: Check your home for any leaks and drafts. This normally occur where utility lines run through the exterior of the home. Some of the best places to inspect: Exhaust vents, electrical sockets, door jams and windows. Most of the time these areas can easily be fixed by caulking around the leaks.
Insulation: Check the amount of insulation in the attic and inspect for any low spots. Add more insulation over top of the existing insulation in the attic if need be. Be sure not to stuff insulation above your soffit as your attic needs to breath. This will help keep the heat in your home which, in turn, cuts down on the heating bill.
Furnace: Get the furnace cleaned and checked once per year. Also, change the furnace filters a minimum of once per year; normally they recommended every three months. Over time, it’s surprising how much dust accumulates in the duct work. Cleaning out your vents, piping and ducts will allow your furnace to breathe easier minimizing the possibility of your furnace quitting on you during the cold snaps.
Windows: Windows normally have a life span of 20 years due to the shifting of the house. If the windows haven’t been replaced in 20 years, it’s a great idea to check for leaks and drafts. Depending on your results, it might be time to check into cost and availability. If you cannot replace the windows, then use a window insulator kit, which will help keep the cold out.
Chimney: Have a professional clean the chimney so you won’t have issues when you light the first fire on a cold winter night. Some insurance companies require periodic chimney cleaning to reduce the chance of house fires and reduce hazards.
Ceiling Fans: The ceiling fan can be used for both summer and winter. Reverse the direction that you used in the summer for winter use, it will help evenly distribute warm air throughout the room.
Outdoor Water: When you are ready to do so, and before winter settles in, turn off the valves leading to the outdoor taps. Drain and remove any water accessories attached to the valves.