Depending on where you live, the winter can be brutal. In fact, if you live in the Midwest, you might already be knee deep in snow. Winterizing your home, is best done prior to the first flake. However, even if snow is already piled up on the sides of the road, it’s not too late to prepare your home for the worst part of winter that is still ahead.
Check the insulation
Before the temperatures dip below zero, it’s a good idea to double check the insulation throughout your home. Even though insulation has a long lifespan, it’s not uncommon for it to wear out in certain places. Your home tends to lose heat around openings and through the roof. To avoid that, make sure that your home’s insulation is at full thickness around windows, doors, attic to keep the heat inside your home.
Just like in summer, you need to schedule seasonal HVAC maintenance, preferably before it gets too cold outside. A furnace repair contractor will perform diagnostic testing, change the air filter and clean the unit as well. If any issues are found, they can be repaired at the same time. When you really need it, you’re home will be toasty warm.
Clean the Gutters
In addition prepping your HVAC system, you also need to clean your gutters. When gutters are full of dirt and debris, rain water or snow isn’t able to run off and can start to accumulate inside the gutters. This can then lead to buckling of the gutters, and the gutters may begin pulling away from your home completely. It can also cause the water to pool along the foundation line of your home, which may start to seep into your basement.
There may still be problems even if you don’t notice a change in the gutters. As the water freezes in the gutters, it can cause problems in your roof and water may seep in through holes caused by the ice.
Caulk Around Windows and Doors
Just like insulation, you also need to check the caulking around the windows and doors of your home. Heat can escape through the tiniest of cracks, which can cause your furnace to run more often. This will run up your heating bill and can damage your furnace.
If the exterior caulking needs repaired, try a silicone-based product. There are a variety of chemical-free caulking products you can use indoors as well. Also, replace the weatherstripping on the bottom of the doors if it’s tattered.
Clean Out the Chimney
Whether you plan to use your fireplace or not, clean out your chimney. You should ensure that it’s free of tree branches, leaves, or even unwanted critters prior to turning on your furnace. If your chimney is clogged, it can start a chimney fire. It can also cause carbon monoxide to back up into your home.
Preparing your home for the coldest of winters doesn’t need to cost a fortune. With a little advanced planning, you can stay warm and cozy all winter long. For jobs that are too large to tackle alone, be sure to enlist the help of certified contractors.
About the Author: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.