I don’t know about you, but winter is my least favorite season. Getting your home ready for winter before the snow hits will help you avoid extra costs and prevent damage to your home. The thought of saving money on energy costs and preventing major damage gives me some peace of mind going into the winter. Here are a few of my top tips for preparing your home for winter.
Inspect Your Heating System
Keeping your furnace system clean and well maintained will save you money, and keep your family safe. If you have a wood burning fireplace or furnace, clean the chimney every year to prevent a chimney fire. If you burn wood, stack it in a dry place that is easily accessible.
Check your furnace filter and replace it if needed. Furnace filters come in a variety of types, but there is something for any budget. If it’s been a while, have your ducts cleaned before starting the furnace the first time to reduce the amount of dust in the air.
To save money on energy costs, set your thermostat to go down a few degrees at night while you sleep, then back up to a comfortable temperature during the day. Now that the temperature has gone done and the windows are always closed, make sure your air exchanger is working. This helps reduce condensation build up around the windows.
Air leaks around windows and doors can send your heat, and your money, right out the door. Check your windows for drafts or condensation. Add weather stripping or use spray foam insulation to fill in any holes and eliminate the air leaks. Replace old weather stripping if needed.
If you have pipes or ducts that go through an exterior wall, check that the caulking goes entirely around the pipe and there are no air leaks. If you need to, you can put shrink wrap plastic around your windows to keep the cold air out.
Prevent Freezing Pipes
Frozen water pipes are a very real probability in homes that have freezing temperatures in the winter. Frozen pipes are a problem because running water won’t go through them, or they could burst, causing damage to your home and plumbing.
To prevent frozen water pipes, locate which pipes are most susceptible to freezing. These are usually located on an outside wall, or in a room that gets colder than others. Make sure to insulate these pipes with some foam insulation, which is very easy and quick to install. You can also get a heat cable and wrap it around the pipes.
Know where your water shut off valve is, so that if you do have a pipe that bursts you can shut the water off from the source.
Lawn and Garden
Clean your gutters to prevent buildup of rain and snow. Make sure down spouts are directed away from the house to eliminate water in the basement. Put away patio furniture and kids’ toys to protect them from the elements.
Make sure handrails and stairs are solid and sturdy to prevent falls when it gets icy. Check shingles and replace any that are missing to prevent leaks. Drain the water from outdoor hoses, disconnect them, and store hoses inside.
Preparing Your Home For Winter
All of these tips will help you get your home ready for winter. In the long run, a little bit of preparation will help you save money on energy and heating costs, and prevent any major disasters from happening to your home over the winter.
And now that you’ve done all the hard work, make yourself a cup of tea, put on your slippers, and watch all the snow build up from inside your cozy home!
*This is a sponsored post, which means I was paid in exchange for this content. However all ideas and opinions are my own*