Are you ready for winter? The bitter cold, strong winds and snow of winter? Preparing your house for the winter season is important to ensure your comfort and safety. The cold weather can affect your heating system, your pipes, your windows, and your roof. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your house for the winter. Don’t get caught unprepared!
I’m also sharing my Free Prepare for Winter checklist- don’t forget to download it!
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How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Drain outside faucets: To prevent your outside faucets from freezing and cracking, you should drain them completely and turn off the water valve that supplies them. You should also put away your hose and store it indoors. This can help you avoid costly repairs and water damage.
Secure outdoor patio furniture: To prevent your outdoor patio furniture from being blown away or damaged by the wind, snow, or ice, you should secure them or put them away. You can use ropes, straps, or anchors to tie them down or store them in a shed or garage. You should also cover your BBQ grill and make sure the cover is secure so it doesn’t fly away. You can use painters tape or clips to hold down the cover. This can help you protect your outdoor items and extend their lifespan.
Clean your gutters: Clear out any leaves, debris, or ice dams from your gutters to prevent water damage and leaks. You can also install gutter guards to prevent clogging and improve drainage.
Trim tree branches: To prevent your tree branches from falling and damaging your house, car, or power lines during strong winds, you should trim them regularly and remove any dead or weak ones. You should also check for any signs of disease or infestation and treat them accordingly. You may want to hire a professional arborist to do this job safely and effectively.
Put your car in your garage: To prevent your car from being covered by snow, ice, or frost, you should put it in your garage if you have one. This can help you avoid scraping your windshield, defrosting your locks, and warming up your engine.
If you don’t have a garage, if you know of an upcoming snow storm, you should park your car away from trees that might potentially result in falling branches on your car. You should also position your car so it’s easy to get out of your driveway.
You can use a car cover, a windshield cover, or a tarp to protect your car from the elements. You should also check your tire pressure, battery, antifreeze, and wiper fluid regularly.
Check your insulation: Make sure your attic, walls, and basement are well insulated to prevent heat loss and save on energy bills. You can also add weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows to seal any gaps.
Service your heating system: Have a professional inspect and tune up your furnace, boiler, or heat pump before the cold weather arrives. You should also replace your air filters regularly and test your carbon monoxide detectors.
Protect your pipes: Wrap any exposed pipes in your basement, crawl space, or garage with insulation or heat tape to prevent them from freezing and bursting. You should also drain and disconnect any outdoor hoses and faucets and turn off the water supply to them.
Prepare your fireplace: If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have enough firewood stored in a dry place. You should also clean your chimney and flue to remove any creosote buildup and prevent chimney fires. If you have a gas fireplace, check the pilot light and the gas line for any leaks or issues.
Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you adjust the temperature of your house according to your schedule and preferences. You can set it to lower the temperature when you are away or sleeping and raise it when you are at home or awake. This can help you save energy and money while staying comfortable.
Replace your windows: If your windows are old, cracked, or drafty, you may want to consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient ones. This can help you reduce heat loss, improve insulation, and lower your heating bills. You can also add curtains, blinds, or shades to your windows to provide extra insulation and privacy.
Stock up on essentials: Make sure you have enough supplies and emergency items in case of a power outage, snowstorm, or other extreme weather conditions. You should have a flashlight, batteries, candles, matches, a radio, a first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets, and warm clothing. You should also have a shovel, salt, or sand to clear your driveway and sidewalks.
Pack an emergency bag in the car: To prepare for the possibility of getting stranded in your car, you should pack an emergency bag with snacks, blankets, handwarmers, gloves, hats, and other items that can keep you warm and comfortable.
You should also have a phone charger, a map, a compass, a whistle, and LED rechargeable car flare to communicate and navigate. You should also know how to stay safe in your car, such as running the engine for 10 minutes every hour, cracking a window for ventilation, and clearing the exhaust pipe of snow.
Check out our article on The Snowiest Places in the US: List of Record Breaking Snowstorms
Free Winter Checklist: Prepare Your Home and Car for Winter Checklist
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