Winter weather is here. If you haven’t prepared your home for the cold weather, it’s a good time to start. Here are a few of the most important things to do.
Clean Out Your Gutters
If you have any kind of tree in the yard, it probably shed a bunch of stuff this fall. Now that the fall is almost over, it’s a good time to get that gunk cleared out of your gutters.
If left too long, debris in your gutter can lead to drainage issues. It can clog your downspouts, causing water to build up in the gutters. If they’re sloped correctly the water should spill over the sides instead of your house, but not all gutters are sitting correctly.
Keep in mind that even though the winter doesn’t really bring lots of rain, snow causes issues too. As it melts, it can build up in your gutter if it’s clogged.
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, make sure you do this soon!
Winterize Your Home by Blocking the Drafts
It’s common for a house to have drafty areas.Keep in mind that the more your HVAC system has to run, the more money you’re having to spend. Here are a few places that tend to let cold air in, making your HVAC system have to work harder than necessary.
Seal the windows – use caulk around the sides of your windows to make sure they’re sealed. Caulk is cheap and easy to use.
Add weatherstripping – at the bottom of windows or doors, you may feel a draft coming through. You can deal with this one of two ways: add weather stripping or a draft guard. Either way works great, saving you money and keeping your family more comfortable.
Check the attic – is your warm air escaping through the attic? Make sure you have enough insulation up there to keep the warm air down in your living spaces. You can also consider adding an attic tent to help hold in the heat.
Seal your outlets – your electric outlets and switches are costing you money. Yes, the plastic plates are pressed pretty tightly against the wall. But they’re actually still leaking your warm air out and cold air in. That’s costing you money, and is a simple fix. Consider investing in some socket sealers. You don’t need to pay a pro- just buy them online and install them yourself.
Get Plumbing Ready for the Winter
If not properly prepared, your plumbing can cause major issues. Pipes can freeze and burst, causing tons of water damage to your home and belongings.
Here are a few tips to keep that from happening:
- Add insulation to the pipes on the outside of your home
- Keep your house at last 65 degrees
- Detach garden hoses
- Keep a small amount of water running through pipes susceptible to freezing
If you want to play it safe, you can consider having a relief valve installed. If your pipes do freeze this valve will relieve excess pressure, preventing the pipes from blowing up.
This is a great time of year, but we still need to spend some time preparing our homes for the months ahead. Spend a few hours to winterize your home and you will rest easier for the next few months.