Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter

Ah, fall!  As those glorious, brilliant colors begin to cascade into piles on the ground and the crispness in the air begins to ebb into a downright chill, you know it’s time to start preparing your home for winter months ahead. A little work now can save a lot of time, energy and money in the long run. So take a look at our checklist and make sure you’ve got everything all ready for winter!

1) Put Away the Tools of Summer.

With cooler weather ahead, it’s important to remember to pack up summer yard paraphernalia and secure it somewhere for the winter. Disconnect and bring in all of your garden hoses. A connected hose can make your outdoor faucet more susceptible to frozen pipes. Ceramic planters that still contain plant life should be brought inside. If the plant is seasonal, empty the pots of all soil and store them out of the cold to avoid cracks. WInterize your lawn mower by ensuring the gas line is clear and keep a cover over it t- even if you store it indoors – to keep it from corrosion over the colder months. This is also a good time to clean tools before you store them in the shed. This will ensure they’re all ready for you once spring rolls around again!

2) Prep Your Gutters and AC Unit.

Removing fallen leaves from your gutters prior to the first snowfall is crucial to prevent drainage issues and ice dams from forming on your roof during the winter.  Water won’t be properly directed away from the house and can create serious foundation issues in your home. If you’re able to get to this before the leaves fall, gutter covers can help prevent future buildup. You also want to be sure to cover your air conditioning unit to keep leaves and snow from getting in.

3) Make Sure You Have the Tools for Winter.

There’s no worse time to figure out that your snow blower isn’t working or that your shovels are broken than right after the first big snowstorm. Taking your snow blower in for a tune-up will make sure it runs when you need it most, and investing in some sturdy snow shovels now will keep you ready to go for that first snow.

4) Change Furnace Filters.

A visit from your HVAC professional can tell you if it’s time for your furnace filters to be replaced. However, if you aren’t able to fit in an official visit, you can replace the filters yourself. Changing the filter allows you to keep the furnace from clogging, keeps it running more efficiently and stops it from circulating allergens and other harmful particles. How often the filter needs to be replaced will vary depending on what type of filter you get, so a little research may be needed.

5) Check Your Insulation.

There are numerous areas where cold weather can make its way into your house. Before the weather starts to get too chilly, take a look around your home to make sure certain areas are still in prime condition. First, check the seals around your windows. If you find the seals to be lacking, use weather stripping or caulk to seal around the frame. You can also seal your doors by putting self-stick foam around the doorframes. Another easy way to weatherproof doors is to simply stick a door sweep at the bottom of the frame between the door and the floor.