When you’re enjoying the last few days of summer or welcoming fall, preparing your home for colder weather may not be at the top of your to-do list. But if you want your home to be prepared for everything that winter will throw its way, it’s important to get started well before temperatures start to drop.
With colder temperatures and winter weather on the way, we’ve compiled a checklist for homeowners to prep their homes for the coming season. Keep reading to make sure your own home is ready.
How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Let’s take a closer look at a few ways you can effectively winterize your home to prevent damage, lower heating bills, and ensure that your family is comfortable all season long.
1. Service Your Heating System
Nothing can be more comforting on a cold winter’s night than snuggling up on the couch in front of the heating system. But what if your heater isn’t functioning well?
With winter approaching quickly, there’s no better time to check over your heating system. If you have an HVAC unit, regularly change the filters and have the unit serviced by a professional at least once every year. This small investment of time and money can help you stay warm and comfortable, and can ultimately reduce your heating bill.
2. Check for Window Leaks
Inspect your windows for gaps and air leaks as winter drafts can cause the warm indoor air to escape outside and, consequently, increase your energy bill.
According to the US Energy Department, reducing drafts can lower your energy bills by 10 to 20 percent annually. Consider adding weather stripping along the sides of the window sashes or use caulk to fill any gaps. If your windows are particularly drafty, it might be time to consider upgrading them.
3. Trim Tree Limbs or Branches
In the event of a winter storm, tree branches hanging over your roof can fall on it, causing great damage to your property. Moreover, protruding branches can cause surplus water to trickle into cracks in the roof or siding.
Now is a great time to trim any low-hanging trees. Ensure that any tree branches surrounding your house are at least three feet away from the building.
4. Inspect Your Home’s Insulation
It’s important to check your insulation and decide whether it’s time for replacement before cold weather strikes. If you’ve noticed that your walls seem drafty, or your energy bills have been creeping higher year after year, it could mean that the insulation in your walls and ceilings is in need of an update.
You also need to insulate your home’s duct system. In some houses, as much as 20 percent of heat is lost through leaks in the ductwork. We recommend hiring a professional to insulate and seal ductwork throughout your home — an enhancement that can lower your energy costs by about $400 every year.
5. Check Your Fireplace
If your home has one, visually inspect the fireplace, both inside and outside your home, to make sure that it is in good condition before you use it for the season. When inspecting outdoors, check that there is no debris accumulation or bird nests near the cap. Chimney bricks should not be crumbling or missing. Plus, the top of the chimney should be beveled to support air circulation. Inside your home in the chimney shaft, there should not be any combustible materials, such as animal nests, or other external objects in the vent.
If you have reason to think that there could be an destruction in your chimney, its a good idea to schedule a cleaning by a professional before winter arrives.
6. Cover Up Hardwood Flooring
If your home has tile, hardwood, or concrete flooring, rugs are a simple and effective way to make your space cozy and comfortable in the cold season. Hardwood floors are not only chilly underfoot in winter, but they also do not help retain any heat. Adding rugs can help you retain more of the conditioned air in your home.
7. Clean Up Downspouts and Rain Gutters
Blocked downspouts or rain gutters can damage the foundation of your house or cause ice dams, resulting in costly repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clear out your rain gutters to get rid of leaves, branches, and muck. You should also ensure that the gutters are not drooping and trapping water. Consider tightening downspout brackets and gutter hangers and replacing any tattered or dented materials.
Keep Your Home Winter-Proof with Superior
As our lifestyles naturally change with the seasons, so should our homes. The good news is that there are several quick and easy upgrades you can make to ensure your space remains warm and comfortable all winter long.
Our experts at Superior
Insealators can evaluate your home and make sure that its properly
insulated. With the right type of insulation, we can help you save on your
energy costs and keep your family warm. We have specialized equipment that
allows us to install insulation in any area of your house — whether it’s an
unvented attic, crawl space, or a home theater. Get in touch today to request a free estimate.