15 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter
The more time you spend getting your home ready for winter, the more comfortable you and your family will be during the cold months and the less work you’ll need to do come spring. Get your home ready for winter by tackling these 15 tasks. If you need any home exterior services performed this fall season, please contact A.B. Edward Enterprises, Inc. today or call us at (847) 999-7481.
1. Clean up Leaves
Raking is no one’s favorite task, but slippery, wet leaves are a fall hazard and an eyesore. Rather than rake and bag leaves for municipal cleanup, mow over leaves and allow them to mulch in place. The shredded bits of leaf matter will decompose and naturally fertilize the lawn. Alternately, avid gardeners can rake leaves for use in a compost pile.
2. Have the Heating Tuned up
It’s tempting to skip a home heating tune-up, but you’ll save money and enjoy cleaner air when you have the HVAC system inspected. A technician can clean the system, replace the filter, and make repairs so your heating system runs efficiently. They can also let you know the estimated lifespan of your heating system, which can help you budget for replacement.
3. Turn Over Closets and Donate Unwanted Items
As you store summer clothes and take down heavy sweaters, separate out things you no longer wear or have outgrown. Go through books, toys, and other household goods. Donate unwanted items to holiday toy drives, coat drives, or thrift stores so your unwanted items can be put to use by someone else.
4. Clean Gutters
If you skip this task, your roof line can develop heavy icicles. Not only are icicles a threat to your safety, they could pull the gutters off the roof. It’s better to spend a couple hours cleaning the gutters or hire out for this task than pay for expensive roof repair due to a gutter problem.
5. Change Smoke Detector Batteries
Conventional wisdom is to replace batteries in home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when the time changes. If you haven’t yet replaced batteries, do so now.
6. Light the Yard
Shorter days mean you’re more likely to come home after dark. Exterior lighting increases your safety and security. If you have sun exposure, solar lights illuminate exterior pathways. Motion-sensitive lights and timed lights are other convenient options to light up the exterior of your home. Outside lighting can deter criminals from breaking and entering or stealing holiday packages from your porch.
7. Seal Leaks Around Doors and Windows
If your windows and doors are leaky, you’ll spend more money to heat a drafty house. Use caulk or weatherproofing strips to seal gaps under doors or in between the window sash so you feel comfortable and save money in winter.
8. Winterize Faucets
Sprinklers, hoses, and exterior faucets can freeze in the winter and burst, causing water leaks. Always store hoses for the winter and shut off faucets to prevent costly plumbing damage.
9. Insulate Pipes
Insulating water pipes in winter can save you money by preventing water from losing heat due to the contrast with the cold air. Insulation may also prevent pipes from freezing. While insulation is a valuable tool to protect pipes in winter, it also reduces condensation and humidity that can develop in summer months.
10. Set up a Humidifier
Dry, cold winter air leads to chapped lips and cracked skin. Boost moisture in your home with a humidifier. Install several humidifiers around the house or use a whole-house humidifier to realize the biggest benefit.
11. Have the Chimney Cleaned
If you have a fireplace, don’t forget to get the chimney cleaned. Cleaning the chimney reduces the risk of fire, prevents carbon monoxide from entering the home, and allows you to check the chimney’s condition, so you can schedule maintenance if it’s necessary.
12. Trim the Trees
Since winter snows and heavy winds can cause branches to come down, it’s wise to trim trees away from the house before winter begins. Proper pruning before winter starts can reduce tree and shrub damage during storms. If you skip this step, you’ll need to tend to damages trees and shrubs in the spring.
13. Have the Roof Checked
Going into the winter, you’ll want to make sure that your roof is structurally sound. Rather than get up on the roof yourself or scope things out through a pair of binoculars, have a roofer perform a roofing analysis. They can tell you the condition of your roof and shingles and replace missing shingles so your home is fully protected this winter.
14. Drain the Lawnmower
Gas left in a lawnmower over the winter can damage the mower’s engine, making it hard for you to start up the mower in spring. Either drain gas from the mower or use a fuel stabilizer, which keeps the gas fresher and prevents engine damage.
15. Restock Winter Weather Essentials
Don’t get caught short on ice melt, shovels, car scrapers, or other winter essentials. Get winter weather equipment out of the garage, inventory what you’ve got, and replace needed supplies before a big storm is forecast.
By taking time to prepare for winter, you’ll reduce stress and increase your comfort. You’ll also save money all winter long. Work through the tasks on your winterizing checklist or hire professionals who can help you ready your home for the cold weather.