Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Winter
Winter weather can do severe damage to your home if you don't prepare yourself. Here are some quick tips to get you home winter ready.
Winter Emergency Kits
Emergency Kit for Your Car
- A bag of rock salt to melt ice
- A bag of sand to improve traction
- Snow shovel and ice scraper
- Extra clothes such as a coat, hat, gloves and boots
- A blanket
- A battery powered radio
- A stash of food and water
- First aid kit
- A tow chain
- Emergency flares
Emergency Kit for Your Home
- A stash of extra nonperishable food and water
- Sufficient heating fuel such as dry firewood
- A box of matches
- Battery powered radio
- Extra flashlights
- Heavy duty plastic sheeting and duct tape in case a window breaks in a storm
- Trim your shrubs, hedges, and trees. Plants are dormant in the winter, making it an ideal time for trimming. It is also ideal to trim branches away from you home.
- Continue lawn care until grass growth slows. Most people stop watering, cutting, and fertilizing their lawn far too early. You should continue regular lawn care until the grass growth slows down to a noticeable amount.
- Put out a bird feeder and keep it full throughout the winter. Bird food is scare in the winter so plenty of birds will be using your feeder to obtain food.
- Plant bulbs in the Fall for Spring flowers. Spring flowering bulbs must be planted in the fall or early winter to bloom in spring. Typically they are planted 6 weeks before the ground freezes.
- Put away your outdoor furniture. It’s time to store your outdoor furniture in a garage or shed to prevent damage from the harsh winter weather. Some items such as large grills can be covered instead of moved inside.
Exterior Home Maintenance
- Clean your gutters and roof. Remove debris from your gutters and roof to prevent rot and check for any damage that may need repair.
- Turn off water lines to your outdoor faucets. Locate the shutoff valve for your outdoor faucets and drain any excess water out of the pipes.
- Caulk any gaps on the outside of your home. Caulk gaps between the siding and windows or doors to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
- Install weatherstripping. Install weatherstripping around windows and doors to fill any voids and prevent heat loss.
- Install storm doors and storm windows. Replace screen doors and window screens with storm doors and storm windows to protect your doors and windows and insulate for bad winters.
Heating and Cooling
- Test your thermostat. Turn your heat up to make sure it is capable of heating your house and ensure your thermostat is up to date. Try a programmable thermostat to be even more energy efficient.
- Clean your heating ducts. Closing up your house for the winter means you’ll be using those heating ducts. Clean the ducts out thoroughly to keep your home allergen free.
- Install a whole house humidifier. In the winter time, the air can be very dry. Install a whole house humidifier to get moisture back in your home and decrease the discomfort you may experience due to dry skin and sinuses.
- Replace your furnace filter once a month. Dirty filters increase energy use and restrict air flow.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Changing your ceiling fans to a clockwise direction will push the hot air up towards the ceiling down towards the floor.