Sometimes it takes a lot to mentally prepare for winter and get ready for the onslaught of cold weather. It is important that while we get ourselves prepared for the cold, we also prepare our houses to the winter months.
There are financial benefits to being prepared for the winter months when it comes to your home. The cost of heating a home through the winter months can be exorbitant if the windows are not properly insulated or if the plumbing breaks during a cold snap. An out-of-date heating system will also cost extra money when the cold weather hits. If you prepare your home properly for winter, you will protect your home and save yourself some money.
Do it in Steps
It can seem like a big job if you have to get everything ready all at once. If you break it down into smaller jobs and give yourself three or four weekends to get them done, it will seem less stressful. Check all of your windows to see if there are any drafts and determine whether or not you need any insulation. On the next weekend, inspect your pipes to ensure they are not going to burst when it gets cold.
Get the Plumbing Ready
Take time to drain the water from faucets that are outside. Also, drain the garden hose and make arrangements to have in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Garden hoses should be rolled up and stored inside. If there are pipes that tend to freeze when the cold season hits, use some heat tape to make sure they stay warm even when the weather is cold. It is a good idea to make sure everyone in the home knows how to turn the water off at the source so that if there are any problems, anyone who is home can handle the task.
Heat Things Up
A cozy evening by the fire is always nice in cold weather as long as there are no issues. The chimney should be inspected and professionally cleaned before the first frost of the season. It is also a good idea to have a professional perform a routine check of your heating system prior to the arrival of the cold weather. Vents and other heating components should be vacuumed and the furnace filter should be checked and replaced if necessary. Another money saving tip is to turn the thermostat down at night or when everyone is away from the home.
Seal the Leaks
You can keep drafts to a minimum if you have storm windows and doors. Make sure you do not have drafts in the basement too. Inspect weather stripping and replace any that is worn or that has cracks in it. Use caulk to seal off any gaps and keep the cold air out. Replace worn doorstops and if you have pipes through an exterior wall, put caulking and weather-stripping at the entry points to keep air out.
Getting your home ready for winter does not have to be a big job but it is one that needs doing!