As temperatures drop and you spend more time indoors, make sure your property is ready for the winter. Prepare for the colder weather by following these winter home maintenance tips so that your home stays warm and comfortable all season long.
Ten Essential Winter Home Maintenance Tasks
1. Get Your Chimney and Fireplace Inspected
Chimney fires account for thousands of residential fires annually. Before you use your fireplace for heating, get it inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to make sure it’s safe for use.
2. Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks around windows and doors, and cracks in walls affect energy efficiency and increase heating costs. Improve your home’s energy efficiency by using weatherstripping or caulk to seal any gaps you find. Also, consider upgrading your exterior doors and windows if the problem is severe.
3. Prepare an Emergency Kit
Winter storms may lead to power outages. If the lights go out, make sure you’re prepared with an emergency kit. Having one ready will save you the hassle of scrambling for supplies if there’s a blackout. Make certain that assembling an emergency kit is one of the items on your winter home maintenance checklist.
4. Winter Home Maintenance: Check Insulation
Proper insulation is vital to keeping your home warm in the winter. If your insulation is inadequate, the heating system will have to work harder to keep your home comfortable. Add insulation to your attic, crawlspace, and basement to boost your home’s energy efficiency and lower monthly heating costs.
5. Purchase Ice Melt
Stock up on pet and plant-safe ice melt before the first snow of the season. Applying ice melt to your sidewalk, driveway, and walkways provides extra traction as you navigate your property. Plus, it will make shoveling snow easier.
6. Prevent Pipes from Freezing
As water freezes, it expands and can cause your pipes to burst, leading to water damage and expensive repairs. To prevent pipes from freezing, insulate them – particularly those near windows, doors, and in unheated areas of the home. Detach your garden hose from the outside faucet, drain it, and store it indoors for winter.
7. Check the Trees as Part of Your Winter Home Maintenance
The trees around your home can be a safety hazard. Tree limbs, especially unhealthy ones, are prone to breaking during severe weather conditions. This could cause damage to your property or even injure you. Before it snows, hire a professional to examine the trees around your home for any dead or diseased limbs or other issues. Prune branches that are too close to your home or overhanging the roof or driveway.
8. Clean Gutters
Gutters prevent water damage by funneling water off the roof and away from the siding and foundation. Before the first snowfall, remove debris from your home’s gutters so precipitation will drain away properly.
9. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans During Winter Home Maintenance
By default, most ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise. In winter, change the direction to help circulate the warm air near the ceiling back down into the room. Set the fans to rotate clockwise to push warm air down and make the room feel warmer.
10. Consider a Generator
Buying a generator is another task you may want to add to your winter home maintenance list. If you live in an area that’s prone to blackouts, it will come in handy. Not only will a generator keep the lights on, but it will also keep your home warm until the power is restored.
Don’t let the first cold snap catch you unprepared. Perform winter home maintenance and enjoy a warm and cozy season indoors.