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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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!
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