It may seem too early to think about winter, but now is the perfect time to start preparing for the next season. Bailey Carson a Home Care Expert with Angi shares some tips and recommendations to winterize your home and yard to protect your home over the next few months and make sure everything is in great shape come spring!
HVAC Fireplace: As you get ready to switch over from AC to heating, it’s a great time to make sure your systems are in great shape. Bring in an HVAC pro to change your furnace filter and do any regular maintenance. You’ll also want to order any supplies that you might need through the season for your system. Go ahead and stock up on firewood, but before you burn anything, have a chimney inspector come in to clean your fireplace and chimney. This can help to prevent any unwanted fires this winter season.
Supplies: Now is a great time to put away any summer cooling supplies and bring out any winter ones. Clean out your window AC unit, filter and grill before packing it away in a dry place for winter, change the direction of your overhead fans to spin clockwise to pull cold air up and push warm air down.
Plumbing and pipes: Plan ahead to winterize your outdoor plumbing including faucets and pipes. This will prevent frozen pipes and even thousands of dollars of water damage to your home. If your outdoor water faucets have a separate shut-off valve, close it, open the spigots to drain the lines and leave them open until spring. Disconnect back-flow prevention devices and use pipe insulation to protect against frozen pipes.
Sprinklers: In addition to winterizing your pipes, you can also winterize your sprinklers. You’ll want to start by turning it off from the water supply as well as turning off the timer. Then, drain your system. There are a few ways to drain sprinkler systems, so do your research and make sure you’re taking the right approach for what you have. This will help you avoid any surprises come spring.
Winter holiday travel prep: If you’re planning for a winter vacation, there are a few things to do to prepare your home to keep it safe while you’re away. You should make sure you are insulating pipes, cleaning out gutters, and having your heating checked, as well as testing your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and security systems to make sure they’ll work if something happens. You’ll also want to store any outdoor décor or furniture indoors to keep it during winter storms. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that all your windows are closed and locked. Also take note of any cracks and seal them to keep rain and snow out.
Check and seal window or door drafts: Slowly walk around the perimeter of your home to check for unwanted airflow around doors and windows. To keep warm air in and cold air out, seal any gaps with caulk and weather stripping. Caulking products are surprisingly user-friendly and a multi-polymer sealant will last for nearly ten years.
Add window treatments: If your windows don’t already have blinds, curtains or shades, consider getting some installed before the weather changes. Window treatments can help insulate your home to keep the warm air in and cold air out. They may not be as effective as multi-pane or insulated glass windows, but they’re a less expensive, easier step in the right direction.
Cover your water heater: Most water heaters are located in uninsulated garages or unfinished basements, which means they’re in the coldest areas of the house. To prevent costly heat loss, cover your tank with a water heater blanket so that it doesn’t need to work as hard reheating cooled water.
Add door sweeps: If air is entering your home from the small space underneath exterior doors, consider installing door sweeps. Starting at only $9 each, door sweeps can have a significant impact on your heating bills.
Clean your gutters and downspouts: Clogged gutters can lead to a buildup of rainwater, snow and ice that can cause cracks in your home’s foundation, water damage and even roof damage. By removing clumps of leaves and other debris with gloved hands and then flushing downspouts with running water from a hose, you can clear blockages before they become problematic. If you have any doubts about your safety or ability, call in a pro.