Properly winterizing your home can save energy, money and inconveniences. Here’s a checklist of things to do before winter arrives:
Check your furnace and ducts Have an HVAC professional inspect your furnace and clean your ducts. Make sure your filter is clean, and change it monthly.
Add extra insulation If you can see the ceiling joists in the attic, chances are you don’t have enough insulation. Either hire a professional or get advice from your local hardware store.
Find and repair air leaks Hold a lit incense stick near windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc., on a windy day, and seal any leaks.
Check the roof, gutters and downspouts Make sure the roof flashing is sound and replace worn shingles. Clean out gutters and downspouts. Install downspout extensions to direct water at least 10 feet away from the house.
Seal out pests Rake away debris and edible vegetation from the foundation. Seal any potential entry points.
Shovel snow away from your home’s foundation The key to avoiding foundation deterioration and expensive repairs is to prevent water from pooling around the base of your house.
Prepare your pipes Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Drain garden hoses and air conditioner pipes.
Reverse the direction of ceiling fans This pulls warm air down into the room and circulates it.
Take care of low-hanging branches A low-hanging or dead branch covered in snow can easily snap, endangering people below and potentially causing thousands of dollars worth of damage if it strikes a roof, a porch, or siding.
Create a storm kit A storm kit is a handy source of essential items in the event of losing power. Consider what you and your family might need, such as a flashlight with new batteries, candles, matches, a portable radio, water and snacks. Keep your kit somewhere easy to access.
Set aside time over the next few weeks to tackle small projects around the house. Winterizing your home will help you be prepared for snow-filled days and cold, windy nights all winter long.