Pipes can freeze and burst, cold air can get into your home through cracks or loose window frames, and warm air can escape poorly insulated structures. Winterizing your home may seem like a hassle, but skipping it can lead to bigger energy bills and a long, cold winter.
Check Your Roof:
A lot of heat can be lost through your roof, so make sure it’s in good shape before the snow starts to fall. Clean off any debris that you find, and replace any loose shingles. This will make it easier to insulate your roof from the cold and keep it clear of ice and snow during the later winter months. Check around vents to be sure they are properly sealed, and that vent caps are securely attached. Check gutters to be sure they are properly attached and don’t have leaks.
Get Rid of Dead Tree Limbs:
Ice and snow can cause tree limbs to bend or even break. This can cause a lot of damage if this happens to trees close to your home, so prune back your trees and remove any dead wood now before it gets too cold to do so.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced:
You should have an HVAC professional inspect your heating system before you need to use it. You may not need to worry about losing your furnace if you’ve kept it in good condition and it’s less than 15 years old, but it’s better to find potential problems now as opposed to when the temperature is below freezing. Change your filters at least 4 times a year and use a Shop Vac to clean dust and debris in and around the furnace. If you have Central Air, cover the outside unit with a heavy duty Air conditioner cover.
Seal Any Air Leaks:
Air leaks that come from cracks in your foundation or loose window and door frames can lead to high heating bills as well as a drafty home. Locate these leaks and seal them with weather stripping or caulk. If your windows are particularly bad, you may need to install some replacements.
Insulate Your Pipes:
To keep your pipes from freezing and possibly bursting, wrap any exposed pipes with insulation. Heat tape will keep exposed pipes from freezing. This is especially important for pipes in your basement or your garage.
Check Your Insulation:
Finally, you may need to make sure that your home’s insulation will work to keep heat from escaping your home. You may not need any new insulation if you’ve replaced it in the last couple of years, but it never hurts to check what you have before it gets too cold to do so.