As the leaves start to change color and the temperature starts to drop, it's time to start thinking about how to prepare your home for winter. Taking some simple steps in the fall to winterize your home can save you a lot of headaches—and money—down the road, and will ensure that your home stays warm, dry and cozy all winter long.
Here are some tips on what you can do to get your home ready for the colder months ahead.
Check your plumbing.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is to check your plumbing. Be sure to check all exposed pipes for any cracks or leaks and repair them as necessary.
You should also insulate any exposed pipes to help prevent them from freezing and bursting when the temperatures start to dip.
If you have any exposed water pipes in uninsulated spaces, such as in a crawlspace, exterior walls, or an attic, make sure to take preventive measures by wrapping them with electrical heating tape and then insulating them with foam sleeves.
Exterior faucets should also be drained and protected with an insulted cover to prevent freezing and damage. And remember to disconnect your garden hoses and drain them.
Service your heating and cooling system.
Another important step is to have your heating and cooling system serviced by a professional. This will help ensure that it's running efficiently and will help prevent any unexpected breakdowns in the middle of winter.
Be sure to have a professional like Craig Plumbing Heating and Cooling inspect and clean your furnace or boiler so that it's ready to go when the cold weather hits. You will also want to replace the furnace filter, as well as check your heating vents and exhaust vents.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected as well. This will help prevent any dangerous fires from occurring.
Check for carbon monoxide leaks.
Carbon monoxide is a gas you can't see, taste, or smell. Because of this insidious quality, it has been called the "silent killer." The good news is that carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. It's also important to know that small leaks over time can be just as dangerous as large bursts.
If you think there may be even a small leak in your exhaust system--for example, from a furnace or water heater--get an inexpensive test badge or battery-operated alarm to check for carbon monoxide immediately. These devices are easy to find and relatively cheap; don't delay in buying one. If the test indicates problems, call in professional help right away to identify and fix whatever is causing the gas leak.
Seal up any cracks or gaps around your home.
One of the main ways that heat escapes from a home is through gaps or cracks in the walls, windows, or doors. Take a walk around your home, inside and out, and look for any cracks or gaps in the walls, windows or doors. These can be sources of drafts and can let cold air into your home.
Be sure to seal up any cracks or gaps that you find with caulk or weatherstripping. This will help keep the heat in and the cold out, saving you money on your energy bills. You will also want to check the exterior molding, inside window tracks, and check for general air leaks.
Install a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat can help you save money on your energy bills by automatically adjusting the temperature when you're not home. You can set it to lower the temperature when you're asleep or at work so you're not heating an empty house.
Stock up on winter supplies.
Finally, make sure you have all of the winter supplies you need such as snow shovels, ice melt, etc., so you're prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way this winter season!
By taking some simple steps now, you can help ensure that your home is ready for winter weather. From checking your plumbing to stocking up on winter supplies, a little bit of preparation now can go a long way in keeping your home warm, dry and cozy all season long!