Winter Is Coming: How to Prepare Your House for Cold Temps

By: Brian Schutt  |  October 15, 2017

As the cold weather approaches, it is imperative that you take a weekend or two to prepare your home for winter. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate home winterizing checklist. These tasks can be done inexpensively for the most part, but may require a professional to come in and inspect. We separated the checklist into items you can do yourself, and items we recommend calling in the pros.

Quick and Easy Home Tasks

These small weatherproofing jobs require very little skill, but are essential once the cold weather hits. Save yourself unnecessary hassle (and maybe some money!) by completing these tasks early in the season:

Clean your gutters in mid-fall and double-check them before winter.

Clogged rain gutters have the potential to cause ice dams, resulting in very expensive repairs. After the last of the leaves have fallen, give your gutters a good cleaning to remove leaves, twigs and extra junk. Look for trapped water and tighten gutter hangers, as well.

Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and turn off the water.

Leaving the hoses attached will cause water to backup in the plumbing pipes inside your exterior walls. When freezing temps hit, the water could freeze and crack your pipes. Additionally, turn off any valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets to prevent minor leaks.

Reverse your ceiling fans.

After you turn your heat on, switch the direction of your ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. The fan will then produce an updraft and push heated air down from the ceiling. This is even more helpful in rooms with high ceilings, which may allow you to turn down your thermostat for greater money (and energy) savings.

Care for your plants.

Prune your outdoor plants and trees. Keep the leaves and branches at least three feet from your house so moisture doesn’t drip onto your roofing or siding. This also prevents damage to your house during storms and high winds.

Check your fireplace.

Use a flashlight to look up inside your fireplace and make sure the damper opens and closes the way it should. Also look for bird nests, branches, leaves or other obstructions. You should be able to see the sun shining at the top of the chimney opening.

Professional-Level Home Tasks

The following list of jobs could be done by some homeowners, but we recommend seeking out a professional if you aren’t entirely comfortable with the task at hand. There’s no downside to having a professional ensure your home is ready to go for winter:

Seal air leaks.

Get a few tubes of exterior caulk and inspect your home’s exterior for cracks in the trim, siding, windows, door frames and where pipes enter inside your home. Preventing moisture from getting inside your house is one of the most important things you can do before winter (and also saves energy from being wasted).

Check your furnace.

This is where we really recommending contacting your HVAC professional. An annual furnace maintenance is essential to the productivity and longevity of your furnace. It’s also important to change your furnace filters every two months, but especially before the temperature drops. Ensuring that your furnace works before it gets too cold will save you a lot of time and discomfort.

Inspect the roof.

Hire a professional to come to your home and do a quick roof inspection. They will be looking for warning signs of shingles that are buckled, cracking, missing or have rusty spots. Damaged shingles should be replaced immediately to prevent leaking and the growth of moss and decay.

Weatherproof your windows.

Windows are the biggest culprits of air leaks. Weatherproofing your windows will make a big difference in your energy savings and costs, and make your home feel much more comfortable. If your windows are way past the point of weatherproofing, consider replacing them with more energy-efficient double paned windrows.

As always, we believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Give us a call at 317-670-0171 if you have questions about anything on this checklist, or would like a professional to come out and take a look. We’re happy to help!

 

Brian Schutt

About 

is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you’ll get an answer promptly.

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