Just as there are steps that help you prep your home for summer, there are also steps that help you prepare your home for winter weather. These basic steps should be on every homeowner’s to-do list. Not only will they make your home safer, they can also help you save on energy bills. (And who doesn’t love that?)
Every year, ideally before you turn your furnace on for the first time in the fall or winter, you should have a pro inspect it. The last thing anyone wants in the dead of winter is for the furnace to go out. A professional will also be able to alert you to malfunctioning parts, which can also help prevent dangerous gas leaks. Overall, it also extends the life of your furnace.
Nobody enjoys cleaning out the gutters, but it’s an important task. Especially once the leaves start falling. A gutter full of soggy leaves and debris can cause water to overflow and damage your roof or siding.
When the temperature drops enough, the cold weather can freeze water laying in pipes and hoses. This can cause a burst, which costs you money. Fortunately, it’s a quick fix—just disconnect and drain any pipes, hoses, in ground sprinklers, and outdoor faucets. Store what you can inside to prevent further damage.
If you have a deck, porch or patio, you’ll definitely want to give it a little love before you close it off for the winter. Cover furniture with tarps or bring it inside. Also check your stonework, concrete, and wood for cracks, splinters, and weathering. If you see any blemishes, apply a sealant to prevent weather from making the issue worse.
Old windows sometimes leak, letting cold air in and warm air out. Over the winter, this will make your furnace work harder and your heating bill go up. Make sure your windows aren’t drafty—if they are, it might be time to look into repairing or replacing. If that isn’t in the budget, look into temporary fixes like weather stripping or shrink film.