6 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Winter is coming, are you prepared? Making sure your home is ready for winter weather is important to protect your family and your investment. Fortunately, getting your home ready for winter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Use this checklist of six essential tips to help prepare your home for the cold weather ahead.

1. Inspect Your Roof and Gutters

The frigid temperatures and heavy winter snowfall can take a toll on your roof and gutters. Before the weather gets too bad, take some time to inspect your roof for any damage and clear your gutters of debris. Fixing any damage now will help prevent further damage from occurring when bad weather hits.

And clearing your gutters will help prevent ice dams from forming, which can cause water to back up and leak into your home. When inspecting your roof, look for any missing or damaged shingles, and ensure the flashing around your chimney and vents is in good condition.

2. Seal Any Cracks or Gaps Around Your Home

Cold air can enter your home through cracks or gaps around windows, doors, outlets, and other openings. To help keep the warm air inside and the cold air out, caulk or seal any cracks or gaps you find. This inexpensive way to improve your home’s energy efficiency can help you save money on your winter heating bill.

You can also use weatherstripping to seal doors and windows. For larger gaps, like around an outlet, you may need to use expanding foam insulation. Not only will sealing cracks and gaps help keep your home warm, but it can also help prevent pests from getting inside.

3. Have Your Heating System Inspected

Ensuring your heating system is in good working condition before winter arrives is key to staying warm all season long. Schedule a professional inspection of your furnace, boiler, or other heating systems to ensure it’s properly maintained and operating efficiently.

During the inspection, the technician will clean your system, test it to ensure it’s working correctly, and make any necessary repairs. They may also suggest some upgrades that could improve your system’s performance. For example, if your boiler is more than 15 years old, installing a new boiler could help you save money on your energy bills.

HVAC technician charging a heat pump with refrigerant

4. Insulate Your Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems homeowners face during winter. To help prevent your pipes from freezing, insulate them with foam pipe insulation or electrical tape. You may also want to let a trickle of water run through any exposed pipes during very cold weather to help keep them from freezing.

And be sure to know where your main water shut-off valve is located in case a pipe does freeze and burst. You should also winterize any outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems to prevent them from freezing and bursting. No one wants to deal with a flooded home, so take the time to winterize your property now.

5. Protect Your Outdoor Space

If you have a deck, patio, or other outdoor space, winterize it before the cold weather hits. Remove any furniture or décor that could be damaged by the elements and store it indoors. And if you have a grill, ensure it’s clean and covered to prevent rusting.

You should also take care of any landscaping needs before the ground freezes. Finish any pruning or trimming that needs to be done, and rake up any leaves or debris. Doing this now will help ensure your outdoor space is ready to enjoy when spring arrives.

6. Stock Up on Winter Weather Essentials

No one wants to be stuck in their house during a winter storm without food, water, or other essential supplies—so make sure you have everything you need before bad weather hits. Stock up on non-perishable food items, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, first-aid supplies, and anything else you may need in case you lose power or cannot leave your home for an extended period.

You should also plan what to do if the power goes out. And if you live in an area that’s prone to winter storms, consider investing in a backup generator. This way, you can keep your home warm and your family safe all winter long. When severe weather hits, you’ll be glad you took the time to prepare.

By preparing your home for winter, you can help prevent common problems like frozen pipes and drafts. You’ll also be able to enjoy your outdoor space all season long. So don’t wait—start preparing your home for winter today.

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