As winter approaches, homeowners know they must do certain things to ready their homes for the coming months. Wrapping up the grill and closing the pool are no-brainers, but homeowners also must prioritize winterizing their homes to ensure homes withstand the winter.
Winterizing tasks range from small to big, but each can protect a home and its inhabitants and some can even save homeowners a substantial amount of money. The following are four simple ways to winterize your home.
1. Plug leaks
Leaky windows and doorways can cost homeowners money year-round, allowing cold air to escape on hot summer afternoons and letting cold air in on brisk winter nights. When such leaks aren’t fixed, homeowners are more liable to turn up their air conditioners or heaters, unnecessarily padding their energy bills along the way. Before winter arrives, check areas around windows and door frames for leaks, as well as any additional openings, such as chimneys, that may allow cold air in. Use caulk or weather strips to plug these leaks, and enjoy your warmer home and lower energy bills as winter weather gets colder and colder.
2. Inspect your chimney
If your home has a chimney, chances are you have not used it since last winter. During that time, the chimney has likely accumulated some dirt and grime, and may even have served as home to some uninvited critters. As the season for fireside chats approaches, have your chimney serviced by a professional so it’s ready for use and you are not greeted by some unwanted guests upon lighting your first fire.
3. Clear the yard
Autumn days, particularly late autumn days, can be gusty, and strong winds can cause branches to fall off trees. Branches big and small can cause damage to cars, siding and roofs, and smaller branches can get clogged in gutters, potentially causing gutters to back up and leading to leaky roofs that damage a home’s interior. Take a walk around your property at least once per week during the fall, clearing any fallen limbs and trimming branches that appear one strong gust away from falling off of trees. Remove any branches that are hanging over your home and driveway so they don’t pose a threat to your house or vehicles.
4. Turn off outdoor water supplies
When temperatures get especially low, pipes with water still in them can freeze and burst, potentially leading to significant water damage. When you no longer need to water the lawn and when temperatures get too cold to wash your car in the driveway, be sure to shut off the water supply to outdoor spigots and sprinkler systems. Once you do that, drain them so no water is sitting in the pipes when temperatures dip.
There are many ways to winterize a home, and homeowners should take every precaution necessary to ensure their homes are safe and warm as the cold weather season approaches.