How to Make Your Home Winter Ready
Winter might not be near, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore what you need to do to prepare your home for the harsh conditions. Every season has its own set of requirements for preparing your home, and winter is no exception. Preparedness is key, and knowing what you need to do in advance can make the transition from one season to another that much simpler. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare your home for winter when the season comes.
Saving on Winter Utilities
Maybe you don’t think you need to prepare your home for winter, but how about preparing your pocketbook? Nothing is worse than overpaying for utilities when you could have easily saved yourself a few dollars. It’s hard to keep your home warm and cozy when your windows are old and impractical. Now is the time to make sure they are correctly insulated, your doors are properly sealed, your plumbing is in shape, and your heating system is working efficiently.
If that sounds overwhelming, stop right there. The list is far more intimidating than it appears. We will break it down for you so that you can easily check everything off your list before the cold settles.
Prep the Heating
One of the most dangerous things you can do in the winter months is start a fire in a fireplace that is not prepared for a fire. You must first have your chimney cleaned and inspected. You have no idea what’s trapped in there, what nested in there, or what might be causing issues in there. Furthermore, this is the best time to call your HVAC repair company and have them come out to perform a general maintenance plan. This involves vacuuming your vents, checking your heating system for cracks and problems, and issuing any repairs before the season begins.
If there is an issue with any of your heating supply areas, your professionals can find them, diagnose them, and repair them before they have a chance to become major problems. The last thing you want to face is the first cold night of the season with a broken heating system and a blocked chimney. It’s far more affordable, efficient, and safer to have these things checked out before there is a situation that requires emergency repair.
Don't Forget Your Outdoor Equipment
Before the cold weather hits, make sure your outdoor equipment is in peak condition for the following year. This means covering your AC unit to keep little critters and weather out. It may be a good time to call a plumber and see about having frost valves installed on all your outdoor hose connections to give you extra peace of mind. If you have an outdoor kitchen, it's also a good time to turn off outdoor water valves, flush lines, and clean up your grill eqiupment from a summer season of hard use.
Keep Leaks Out
Cold air leaks are some of the most wasteful components of your home. Weather stripping wears and tears after a while, which means you might find yourself with leaking air. This is not energy efficient, but it’s also such an easy fix. Check caulking, weather stripping, and anything else that might cause leaks. Repair them immediately. It’s also helpful to ensure you have proper caulking around all of your entry points to and from ducts/pipes that go through any exterior walls in your home. Cold air can get into your home through any of these points, and that means you might be creating your own lack of efficiency at home by avoiding repair on any of these issues.
Now that the seasons are changing, it’s important you have the basic things taken care of to protect and prepare your home. These issues aren’t just problematic in the winter, either. Your leaking windows, doors, and ducts can cause issues in the warm seasons, as well. Be sure you’re checking on these every six months or so to ensure you don’t have any issues. It’s also important you call your HVAC company to have them come out and maintain your systems so they are in proper working order each season. That’s the best way to handle any issues before they become problems.