The cold weather will soon be here, which means it’s time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. Winterizing your home now can help prevent damage, avoid headaches, and reduce energy costs when temperatures drop. The real estate experts at kwELITE Keller Williams have put together this guide to help you winterize your home and make sure it’s ready for whatever winter weather comes your way.
Inspect and Service the Furnace
One of the most important winterization tasks is ensuring your furnace is in good working order before you need it. Schedule an annual service appointment with an HVAC technician to inspect your furnace. They will check components, clean filters, ensure proper airflow, test controls, and perform any necessary repairs. This maintenance helps improve efficiency and prevent breakdowns on cold nights. Install new filters each month during winter as they can quickly become clogged with indoor pollutants.
Seal Air Leaks and Add Insulation
Sealing gaps around windows, doors, pipes, wires, and any other exterior openings prevents cold drafts and helps your home retain heat better. This is one of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Weather stripping and caulk are inexpensive solutions for sealing most cracks and holes. Likewise, properly insulating attics, exterior walls, and crawl spaces provides an effective barrier to cold outside temperatures. Adding insulation helps lower heating bills too. Consult a kwELITE Keller Williams real estate agent if you’re unsure what projects are best for your home.
Inspect the Roof and Siding
Ice dams, snow buildup, and freezing temperatures can damage roofing, gutters, downspouts, and exterior siding. Before winter arrives, thoroughly inspect these areas for any needed repairs. Flat roofs are particularly prone to winter weather damage. Clear leaves and other debris from gutters and install gutter guards to prevent clogs that lead water to back up under shingles. Trim overhanging tree branches to protect siding and the roof. Repair or replace any loose panels or cracked areas right away. Preventative maintenance saves money over the long run.
Prepare Plumbing Pipes
Extreme cold causes water in pipes to expand, increasing the chance of bursting. Wrap uninsulated pipes near outer walls, in crawl spaces, attics, and garages with weather-resistant insulation or heating cables. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and install covers on outside faucets. Consider having a plumber install freeze-proof faucets if you live in an area with a harsh winter climate. Learn how to shut-off your home’s water supply so you can take quick action in the event of broken pipes or leaks. Taking proactive measures with plumbing before winter can avoid costly repairs later.
Service the Water Heater
Schedule an inspection with a professional plumber to ensure your water heater is working properly before peak winter usage. Annual maintenance extends the operating life of most units. The technician will check thermostats, valves, pipe fittings, the tank, burner assembly, gas lines, and other essential components. Replace old or defective parts and consider upgrades for improved safety and energy efficiency. Repairing or replacing the water heater now eliminates troublesome breakdowns when you need it most for bathing, cleaning, and keeping warm.
Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters cause water to pool on the roof, leading moisture damage. Snow buildup adds substantial weight, stressing the roof structure. Routine maintenance keeps rain and melting snow flowing away from your home. Carefully remove leaves and other debris from gutters using gloves and gutter scoops, taking caution on ladders. Install gutter guards to help minimize future clogs. Ensure downspouts direct water several feet away from the foundation too. Proper drainage safeguards roofs against premature failure.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Winter storms can cause power outages, increasing fire and carbon monoxide risks from emergency generators or alternative heating sources. Make sure all detectors are working and have fresh batteries in case of electrical failure. Replace any units over 10 years old. Practice a family escape plan and test alarms monthly to ensure proper function. Stay vigilant about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, especially during winter months.
Prepare a Winter Storm Survival Kit
Severe weather can knock out heat, electricity, and access to essential supplies. Prepare an emergency preparedness kit in advance with these recommended items: flashlights, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, bottled water, medications, first aid kit, blankets, matches, shovel, rock salt, and sand. Having provisions on-hand lets you safely wait out a winter storm at home. Keep an adequate supply of heating fuel as well. Sign-up for local weather alerts too so you have time to respond before an event hits.
With some preparation, you can relax knowing your home is ready for whatever winter throws its way. kwELITE cares about keeping our neighbors safe, warm, and financially protected during harsh weather seasons. Contact us today to discuss preparing your most valuable asset, your home, for winter’s wrath or getting your property market-ready for spring selling. Our exceptional real estate agents have deep roots across the community and are ready to offer expert guidance tailored to your needs.
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