We all know winter is coming, and it has the potential to come in with a fury. Preparing our homes for winter can be the difference between a cozy season of rest and restoration or one emergency after another.
Clean out your gutters
Once all those leaves have blown away, it is time to clean out those gutters or better yet, hire someone to do it for you. Leaving them all winter leads to clogged lanes and downspouts. The water will start to collect, freeze, and expand in the lanes. The frozen water can eventually back-up, build-up, and push underneath your shingles causing your roof some very costly damage (not to mention potential leaks inside of your home).
Tune up your furnace
Having your furnace inspected each year is essential for your home and family’s safety. It can save you from an emergency situation where your furnace breaks down during a dangerous cold spell.
Clean out the chimney
Even Mary Poppins calls her chimney sweep. Make sure to schedule an appointment to have your chimney cleaned out for the season in order to minimize the likelihood that creosote will build up and catch fire.
Check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
There are approximately 340,000 fires each year, and about 150,000 of them happen during the winter holidays. Winter is also when the most carbon monoxide poisonings happen in people’s homes because of fireplaces, furnaces, and propane heaters. Make sure your alarms have fresh batteries and are properly tested.
Check your generator
Your generator may be a life-saver during a power outage. Making sure that it easily starts and making sure you have enough gas to last are essential. Safely store as much gasoline as is possible. It is important to add some fuel stabilizer to every 5 gallons prior to filling your generator tank with gasoline.
Keep pipes from freezing
The two ways to keep pipes from freezing are to keep your heat on at all times. If your pipes are far away from a heat source, you can put insulative materials around them to help them from freezing up. Also, when temperatures dip down for long periods of time, it is a good idea to leave your faucet dripping with a small amount of water.
Weatherstrip your doors and windows
Preventing lots of heat from escaping your home or cold air from getting in is essential for conserving energy and lowering your costs. The bottom of the door needs to touch against the threshold of the floor. Check your windows too. If they are drafty, consider having a repairman come out and fix them or add some protective material that will block out the draft.
Add some insulation
Not having adequate insulation can cause five times more loss of heat and will cause your heating costs to rise even more than already projected. In order to save energy, make sure you have at least six inches of good thermal attic insulation.
Get a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat will allow you to get your home heated before you arrive home at the end of a long day (thereby saving energy and money), and it will provide you a way to turn down the heat from your office on those busy mornings when you forget.
Even if you have moved out and are selling your home…
Winterizing your home is even more important if you are trying to sell your home, especially if it is sitting empty. You don’t want any costly damage to occur while you wait for your closing.
Whether you hope that the warm days will hold-up, or you are ready for some holiday white stuff, getting your home ready is essential. For any of your home selling, buying, or any of your real estate questions, call 616 REALTY .