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14 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter Guide

6 Nov 2019

14 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter
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As fall arrives, everything around you starts changing. Spring and summer often make us forget that winter existed at some point. We must brace ourselves, as winter is coming and it is approaching fast.

In winter, how you run your household also changes. Once it is here, life will become quite difficult. To ease our entrance into winter, one must prepare beforehand.

Our houses protect us from the harsh winter weather and hence it takes the most hit. We must take some measures to protect it too so that the damage from bad weather is minimal.

Here are a handful of ways to prepare your home for the winter.

Internal Preparations

1.  Mend All Leaks

If there are air leaks around the house, your heating system will function poorly. Not only will leaks prevent your house from staying warm, if they are on the roof they might bring in water from the melting snow.

Preventing air leaks can help you save energy. Tiny leaks can be filled up with caulk. Use it around the doors and windows, as there are often gaps around the edges. Use a foam sealer for bigger leaks.

2.  Check If Your Heating System is Working Well

After remaining dormant for a few months, your heating system might malfunction. Before the cold weather sets in, see if your heating system is working well.

Change your air conditioning filter and furnace filter before you start using them.

If possible, hire a professional to check your heating system. Do this in fall to save yourself from the hassle of a broken heater when winter arrives.

If it malfunctions, you can replace your heater before it becomes an issue.

3.  Try These Methods of Saving Fuel

In winter we use a lot of fuel for heating. You can try out a few ways to save energy. For starters, you can try insulating the attic. Without insulation, the heat will rise up and escape through the attic.

Keep the thermostat control in your hand and change it according to the weather outside. If it gets a little colder, add another layer of clothing instead of turning up the temperature.

Instead of keeping your water heater at a scalding hot degree, try reducing the temperature a little. By doing this you save energy and won’t feel pain while using water.

4.  Clean Your Furnace and Fireplace

When your burners are out of use, they become clogged and dirty. During mid-fall, you can clean up your furnace and fireplace.

Your chimney can attract a lot of unwanted guests, hence cleaning it is a must. Your furnace flue pipes ensure that all the unwanted byproduct gases are released from inside the house. These also need a thorough cleaning.

If you want to hire help, most cleaning services offer fireplace and furnace cleaning together.

If you get maintenance done in the fall, you can enjoy pleasant heating at home during winter. Don’t forget to order wood for your fireplace early on!

5.  Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

After closing up all the leaks, using heating or burning logs can become hazardous. Without proper ventilation, toxic gases and smoke might build up inside the house.

With so many types of enclosed flames, functional smoke detectors are a must. Carbon monoxide can end you in the blink of an eye. You must ensure that your carbon monoxide detector is working.

There are certain dates for these devices and you must replace them if they are outdated. Make sure all your detectors are fully functional before winter.

6.  Clean Out Unwanted Guests

The harsh cold outside will make our house seem welcoming to many unwanted guests. If we aren’t careful our house will become home to anything from small rodents, birds to even stray cats!

Sharing your closed-off home with your tiny neighbors can cause serious health troubles. They can l also inflict damage to your beloved possessions.

Keep the critters out of your attic and basement, as these areas go untouched for long periods of time. Seal any holes and passages that they might use. Don’t forget to clean out the crawl spaces!

7.  Cover Your Windows

Windows without any covering don’t fare well against the winter chill. Even when you patch up all the air leaks, windows transfer cold into the house.

A cheap way to deal with the situation is using bubble wrap on the windows. It is effective but wouldn’t last long and might need a patch up work done.

Installing blinds is a long-term solution. It will keep the harshest winter chill away. You can pair up your blinds with thick curtains. This way you keep your home looking stylish and well insulated.

External Preparation

1.  Drain Outdoor Water Valves

If you have faucets and sprinklers, make sure you drain them before the cold sets in. Otherwise, the water in the pipes will freeze. The expansion will cause cracks and leaks in the pipes.

Draining out faucets is easy. All you have to do is shut off the main outside water source and turn on the faucet until the water runs out.

Draining out the sprinklers is a little difficult. You can hire help from outside or try winterizing it yourself following this process.

2.  Make Your Outer Pipes Winter Ready

Some of the pipes that bring in water indoors or drain waste might be away from the protective reach of your heater. Make sure you insulate them so that they don’t freeze and cause plumbing problems midwinter.

Try insulating the outdoor pipes yourself following these instructions.

3.  Protect Your Wooden Exterior and Furnishing

The wood used for outdoor deck and furnishing is made to fight off rotting. However, it can’t hurt to give them a fresh paint job. Do this especially for the outer door and window frames as they are vulnerable to rotting.

If you have outdoor wooden furniture paint it too. Cover them up on a dry, warm day as moist wood will rot. If your furnishing is not fixed to the ground, you can put them away in the basement for winter.

4.  Deal with Your Lawn and Mower

Mow over the fallen leaves and grass without a basket right before winter. The remains will fertilize your lawn for spring growth. Make sure that they are cut very small so that they don’t wash off and clog the drains.

Your Lawn care machines will be out of use for a while. Try using up the fuel doing what was mentioned above. If the fuel remains inside the machine, it will cause hiccups in the system later.

5.  Tree Care

To encourage growth, trees are often pruned once they shed all leaves. Try to wait until late winter to do that for the best results. Only cut off branches early if they are hanging over your house as that can cause trouble during winter.

6.  Protect Your House from Outside Damage

Make sure the drains on your roof are unclogged. If rainwater gets stuck there, it can cause serious damage to your roof.

Rainwater collected on the roof can create ice dams that are quite dangerous. Makes sure the water from the roof drains away from the foundation

The same goes for the drains on the ground. Make sure the water doesn’t pool around the foundation of the house, as it might rot it over time.

7.  Snow Alert!

Make sure you ready yourself for the snow season. Buy salt and snowmelt before winter arrives.

Check up whether your snow clearing machines are working well. Keep your shovels indoor. If you get snowed in, you’d need your shovel to clear out a path.

14 ways to prepare your home for Winter Conclusion

Preparing for winter can be hard work, but being ready beforehand will cut down costs and hassle. If you are prepared you will be able to enjoy a more comfortable snow season.

Cover Image: Sam Beasley

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