20 Oct Preparing Your Home for Winter: 5 Easy Tips
Though this Fall has been especially warm and sunny and the cold weather seems like a distant thought, it’s almost November and the winter will be here soon. Taking care of a few things around the house now will certainly make for an easier transition into winter. These 5 steps will help make sure your home is ready for winter and that you are snug and comfortable when the snow begins to fly.
- Check Your Heating System.We recommend having your heating system checked by a professional at least once a year. Clean and replace your furnace and make sure any heating vents around your home are not blocked by furniture or drapes. Be sure to put new batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in case your heating system gets overworked or in case the power goes out.
- Prepare Your Fireplace or Wood Stove: Warming up by a fire is one of our favorite things about the cooler temps. But before you build the first fire of the season, get a flashlight and check the flue for creosote buildup, bird nests, large cracks, and other potential problems. Don’t forget to check the outside to make sure none of the bricks or mortar are crumbling. We also recommend having the chimney cleaned once a year.
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans.Circulating air is important during hot and cold times of year and you’ll want to make sure your fan is spinning in the right direction. Check you specific fan. Many have summer and winter settings. Others simply have a a switch that reverses the direction.
- Clean Your Gutters: Whether you have deciduous or coniferous trees nearby, or simple low lying brush, it’s important to check your gutters for build up and any blockages. Clogged gutters can result in leaks after a heavy rain or melting snow. It’s also a good idea to run water through the downpipes to make sure they’re not clogged.
- Check for Tree Limbs.Heavy snow and ice can cause tree branches to break and fall. Trim any limbs that are hanging over your home.
If you’re leaving for the winter or taking an extended vacation:
Keep Your Home and Plumbing Warm if you plan to keep the water turned on in your home while you’re away. Keep the furnace running to help ensure the home stays warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing, with temperatures set at 55°F or higher. Keeping room and cabinet doors open will also help circulate the heat to the areas where pipes are located. Shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers where possible, to avoid any leaks or broken hoses while you are away.