Getting Your Home Ready for the Cold Weather Ahead
As the leaves fall and the days get colder, it is time to prepare your home for winter. Between adding insulation in your attic and servicing your furnace, there are many important tasks to complete before winter arrives. Here are measures you can take to keep your house safe from harsh winter weather.
Prepare Your Home for Winter by Tending to Your Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning your gutters is an important step to prepare your home for winter. Clogged gutters or downspouts can harm your property’s foundation and cause ice dams, which will lead to costly repairs.
When the leaves have fully dropped, clean your gutters to remove the leaves, debris, and twigs. Inspect your gutters further and check whether they are sagging or trapping water. Tighten the gutter hanger and downspout bracket bolts and replace any worn or damaged materials.
Replace the Filter and Test Your Heating System
Hire an HVAC professional to conduct a thorough inspection of your furnace to make sure that it is in good working condition going into winter.
Filters in your home’s heating and cooling system should be replaced at least once every three months. A dirty air filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder, shortening its lifespan.
Prepare Your Home for Winter by Scheduling a Roof Inspection
Making sure that your roof is in good condition is an essential step in preparing your home for winter. If you can’t access your roof, have it checked by a professional. They will recommend repairs or a replacement if needed.
Any damage must be repaired before snow and ice accumulate on your roof. Winter storms and heavy rains are particularly hard on a roof and will exacerbate existing damage.
Trim Tree Branches to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Even healthy tree branches may break during an ice storm. Ice-coated branches that fall risk causing property damage or injury to you or a family member.
Make sure that there are no branches within 5 feet of your home and cut any limbs that are too close. Any branches hanging over your roof should also be assessed. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, hire a tree professional to check your trees and trim or remove any branches so that your home stays safe.
Work on the Frozen Pipes
As temperatures drop, the chance of having frozen pipes increases. If you detect any frozen pipes on your property, you must thaw them as soon as possible to avoid major property damage. To thaw the pipe, use space heaters in accordance with safety guidelines or contact a plumber for help. Better yet, insulate your pipes ahead of winter and leave cabinets open to help warm the pipes underneath sinks on frigid nights.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Prepare your home for winter with a programmable, or “smart” thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to set and customize your home’s temperature remotely using a smartphone. Additionally, using a smart or programmable thermostat will save you money on energy bills when you program optimal times for the thermostat to be raised and lowered.