It’s that time of the year again, cold weather is coming, and you need to prep your house for old man winter. Here we’ll talk about some preventative maintenance steps you can take to assure a hassle-free winter.
The gap between the door and sash can be tiny yet have a huge impact on windy days to your heating efficiency. Make sure there is an effective strip around all of your external doors to help keep your heating bills down.
Plastic over Windows
If you have drafty windows, plastic is essential in keeping your house nice and cozy.
Get Snowblower Ready Now
Make sure your snowblower is in working order before you need it. If you left gas (with ethanol) in it over the summer, water probably collected in the system, making it not start or run horribly. If this happens, all you need to do is disconnect the gas line removing old gas from the engine and replacing old gas with fresh.
Inspect Heated Gutter Guards
After buying the right gutter guards for your house, you’ll need to make sure they are working optimally. Making sure fall leaves aren’t piled high and leaving a place for snow to turn into blocks of ice. Also, make sure the heating elements are working before they are buried under 2 feet of snow. Nobody likes ten-foot-tall icicles hanging from their house.
Check Insulation in your Attic
If your attic isn’t insulated properly, the expensive heat your furnace produces could be going straight to your roof, melting the bottom layer of snow collecting on it. This water can damage your roof leading to possible leaks. It is recommended by U.S. Department of Energy to have 12 to 15 inches of fiberglass insulation in your attic, which works out to be between an R-38 and R-49 rating.
If you see the ceiling joists in your attic, you don’t have enough insulation. Make plans to improve your insulation — fairly easy DIY job.
Change Furnace Filter
Don’t check, change your furnace filter. Furnace filters are cheap and easy to change. Just do it. Not only do clean filters help your furnace run more efficiently, they prevent toxic build-up that could produce an excess of carbon monoxide in your home. Not good. Change your furnace filters.
Cut Water to Exterior Faucets
Go into your basement and turn off the water to your exterior spigots. Water expands as it freezes, and if there is water in the spigot, it could burst during an extremely cold winter day. Turning off the water should take you a couple minutes to do, and it is completely free.
Check Caulking Around your Windows
If the caulk in your windows or window trim has failed, water will get into the wood and cause extensive damage. The water could rot the wood or collect and freeze causing further damage. Tubes of caulk are cheap, spend an afternoon redoing any seals that have been compromised.
Owning a home is a huge responsibility, so there are many more things you could check before winter, but these items should be a good place to start.