Taking good care of your home means you have to put in some extra effort when the seasons change. You might spruce up your lawn and landscaping in the spring, do some painting or power washing in summer, and then spend time raking leaves in autumn. Getting ready for winter, though, is another matter.
This time of year, home maintenance isn’t just about curb appeal. Taking the right steps now can prevent bigger issues from popping up later on. Make sure you’re ready for the cold to set in by following this easy home winterization checklist.
The Top 8 Home Winterization Steps
Getting your home set up for winter doesn’t require a ton of work. Take each step one at a time, and you’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable, efficient home that’s prepped for the season.
- Close foundation vents.
In the warmer months, you want to keep your foundation vents open to help circulate the air in your crawl space. This works to prevent rot and mildew. Once winter rolls around, it’s best to keep your foundation vents closed. That way, your pipes will be better protected against the freezing temperatures.
- Disconnect your hoses.
Water can remain in your hose even when the outdoor faucet is turned off. So, leaving your hose attached to the spigot can then cause that leftover water to freeze—sometimes in the pipeline going toward the spigot. Disconnecting your hoses before the cold hits will help keep your pipes intact when you turn the faucet back on in spring.
- Clear out the gutters.
All those falling leaves can quickly clog up your gutters. Cleaning out these areas now will keep that debris from getting trapped in the gutter downspouts. Plus, having empty gutters means your home will be ready for any rain or snow.
- Check your home drainage.
Doing a quick perimeter check can give you peace of mind for winter. You want the dirt around your foundation to slope away from your siding. Otherwise, melted snow could damage your home’s foundation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your gutter downspouts flow at least 10 feet away from the house.
- Seal any cracks or gaps.
Noticing a cold draft around any of your outside doors or windows can mean trouble for your heating bills in winter. Don’t let your warm indoor air travel outdoors. Sealing these areas in advance can help keep your home energy costs down.
- Do a sprinkler system blowout.
If you have underground sprinklers, it’s important to check your setup and conduct a system blowout. Using compressed air is an easy way to get all of the water out of valves. This will ensure that any water left in the pipes is removed before it freezes.
- Get a furnace inspection.
Scheduling a heating tune-up right when the leaves start to change helps ensure that your furnace is ready to go for the cold weather. But if you haven’t already had your system inspected, it’s not too late. Just call your local HVAC company to get a technician out to review your unit. They can help make sure everything is running how it should.
- Inspect your alarms.
Now is also the perfect time to inspect your home’s smoke detectors and any carbon monoxide sensors that you have installed. Doing these reviews once a year will help keep them up-to-date. Swapping out the batteries now can help you avoid that annoying 2am “beep” that tells you when they’ve gone bad.
When you follow these guidelines for your home, you can easily avoid bigger problems and hassle. As is often the case for home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—and savings!