Make your home winter ready
Organizing your home for winter can seem like an unnecessary chore. But the financial benefits will outweigh any feelings of being “put out.” Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks or if the heating system is out-of-date. Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save you money while protecting your property for years to come.
1. Prep the plumbing
Drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Roll up the garden hoses and store them inside. Identify any “problem” pipes that are prone to freezing in the house and consider using heat tape to keep them warm during extremely cold weather.
2. Heat things up
Ensure your fireplace is ready to provide warm nights all winter. Be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before the first frost. Also, have a professional perform a routine check of the heating systems before cold weather arrives. This should include vacuuming the vents and other heating components. If your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing.
3. Seal the leaks
If you have them, install storm windows and doors – and don’t overlook the basement. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points.