We’re in the middle of the fall season and it’s time to think about preparing your home for the cold winter weather. Aside from the organizing and decorating you’ll be doing over the next months, there are other items you should check to ensure that your home is ready for the cold weather. Checking these items before winter hits can help you ensure your heating bills stay low while also making sure your appliances will be able to last throughout winter.
Here are some tips to preparing your home and appliances for the warm winter ahead.
Examine Entry Points & Openings
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The biggest contributor to a high heating bill is poor insulation, which can cause the warm air in the home to escape out into the winter. To prevent this warm air from being wasted, check doors and windows to see if any air is escaping through cracks and gaps. Also check the weather stripping and replace it if is damaged or not keeping enough cold air out.
Furnace, Water heater & Ventilation
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Once you’ve checked your insulation, ensure your furnace is functioning properly and there are no foreseeable problems in the future. We recommend you contact a trained technician to inspect your furnace or heating system for an accurate assessment.
In addition, once your furnace has been inspected, replace the air filter to ensure maximum airflow and clean air because doing so can help lower your utility bill by not making your furnace work harder.
Next, inspect your water heater as you don’t want to be caught without warm water in the middle of winter. Drain your water heater and clean out and debris or sediment that may have collected in the tank to ensure the water running through your pipes are clean and easy to heat up through your water heater, since there won’t be anything interrupting the heating process.
Finally, once all your systems have been checked out, you’ll want to make sure the ventilation ducts around your home are open and clear of any obstructions. To do this, inspect all ventilation ducts and clean them out if necessary. In addition, if you have rooms with ceiling fans that have a reverse switch, use that feature and have your fans run on low. Reversing the fan’s direction will push hot air down toward the ground, which will help save on the energy bill.
Check Your Roof
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Snow and ice are one of the biggest enemies of roofs; the extra weight and the cold that batters your roof during winter will weaken the shingles or pull them right off. We recommend you take a look at your roof and look for any damaged, loose or missing shingles. If you come across any of those problems, you can do some of those repairs yourself with some assistance from your local hardware store. If you notice large sections of damage on your roof, then it’s best to call a roofer for those repairs.
In addition to checking your roof, it’s best to clean out your gutters. You don’t want water gutter debris turning into ice as this will damage your roof and your gutters over time.
Clean Outdoor Hoses, Faucets & Items
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If you have a sprinkler system for your yard, now is the time to drain any water left in the lines and shut off the water going to those sprinklers. If left unchecked, you may risk having lines explode when water freezes and expands. You should also drain any outdoor faucets and garden hoses. To do this, find the shut-off value inside your home for the outdoor faucets and just open the faucets till no water runs through.
If you have a lot of items around the yard or backyard, you’ll want to store them for safe keeping. The garage is the first place most home owners go to store their items for the winter, but if you want to keep your car safe from the elements this winter, it may be good to invest in additional storage that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather. A custom steel building would keep your items safe and protected.
Get Your Snow Essentials
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After your home inspection the only thing you have to ready yourself is for snow or ice that may build up on your driveway and entrance area. An old fashion snow shovel and some salt should be enough to ensure your pathways are clean and clear for your cars and guest. If you’re trying to save time and not hurt your back in the process, you can invest in a snow thrower, which will clear your driveway in no time.
We encourage our readers to share their own tips for winter readiness. Feel free to comment below!
Post written by Rainier Fuclan