preparing your home for winter

The weather is starting to drop across Indiana, and winter is only right around the corner.

It’s never too late to make sure your house is ready for the winter months. This post will go over some tips that you can use to make sure your house is ready for any freezes, snowstorms, and other winter conditions.

Read on to learn more!

preparing your home for winter

Prepare the Inside of Your Home

Getting your home ready for the winter months will not only keep you and your family warm, comfortable, and safe, but it will also help you prevent any kind of inconvenient, expensive repairs.

The first thing you should do is make sure your HVAC system is ready. It’s a good rule of thumb to have your HVAC system checked twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. These checks will make sure it’s running like it’s supposed to. Many HVAC service companies will automatically put you on a biannual service list so you don’t have to worry about scheduling it yourself.

You can also change your HVAC filter regularly to make sure that it’s up to snuff. You can refer to this website to subscribe to specific filter deliveries.

The second thing you can do is make sure that all of your windows and doors are sealed. There’s no point in making sure that your HVAC system is working properly if cold air is still able to seep into your house.

The US Department of Energy states that heat gain and heat loss through windows is the reason why homeowners experience 20-30% of residential heating and cooling use.

Your windows and doors must be properly sealed to reduce heat loss. You can seal it yourself with caulk, or you can hire a professional to install seals that can last for years.

The third thing your should do is clean out your fireplace and chimney. If the soot and ash from previous seasons are not properly removed, then they can cause unsafe conditions that could result in a house fire. You can protect your family and your home by purchasing a chimney cleaning kit, or you can hire a professional chimney cleaner. Chimney cleaning prices usually average out to be $250-$260.

Another area that you can check to prevent house fires is your smoke detectors. Make sure you’re checking these once a month.

The fourth thing you can do to prepare for winter is to take care of your pipes. If any of your pipes are at risk of freezing, like the ones on the outside walls, cover them with pipe insulation to prevent them from bursting.

When temperatures get really low, it may also be a good idea to leave a tiny trickle going in your faucets so that your water remains in motion and is less likely to freeze. This trick is really important to do if you lose power or heat in the winter time.

Protect the Exterior of Your Home

With all the preparation for the inside of your house, it’s important that you don’t forget about the outside. If you prep the outside of your house now, then you’ll have to spend less time outside when it gets really cold.

The first thing you should do is maintain your walkways and driveway. If you have trouble spots in these areas, then snow and ice can accumulate on top of them and cause all kinds of hazards for you and your vehicles. Take a look outside and see if you need any flatwork repairs so you can save yourself the hassle down the road.

You may want to check on your snow shovel as well. A good heavy-duty plastic snow shovel with a metal edge for breaking through ice will suffice for most people. If you notice that your old shovel is too small or that the metal edge has worn down, maybe consider taking a trip to the hardware store and picking out a new one.

The second thing you should do is trim your trees. Take a walk around your house and see if there are any branches that could potentially break off during a snowstorm from heavy snowfall or wind. If there are any branches that could reach your house, they need to go. No one wants to deal with a hole in the roof or a smashed car during the winter months, or ever, for that matter.

When you’re outside checking out your trees, you should also detach your hose and cover the outside faucets. This is because your outdoor pipes are even more vulnerable to the cold than your indoor pipes. If you leave an undrained hose attached to a faucet, it can freeze a lot faster than you think, and this can result in flooding inside your home.

It’s recommended that you store your hoses away from your faucets during the winter. If you’re looking for more protection, you can go to the hardware store and buy insulated faucet covers for a relatively low price.

As you protect your faucets for the winter, make sure you also turn off your sprinkler system if you have one. Freezing temperatures can be detrimental to in-ground sprinkler systems. Help yourself out by saving the headache of having to replace the sprinkler and turn it off.

You can prepare your sprinkler system for the winter, but it’s highly recommended that you hire a team of professionals to do it for you so it’s done correctly.

Once the sprinkler is taken care of, go around back to your patio and store/cover your patio furniture. If you had to buy your own patio furniture, you know how expensive it can be. Store it or cover it up so that the harsh winter conditions don’t cause any kind of wear and tear. You can store the furniture in your garage or shed if you have one, or you can buy a nice cover that you can take off of the furniture in the spring.

preparing your home for winter

Create An Emergency Kit Just in Case

Winter can be unpredictable, and you don’t want to be unprepared if you lose power. A good winter emergency kit might include:

  • firewood
  • flashlights and lanterns with fresh batteries
  • candles with matches and lighters
  • a battery-powered radio
  • portable chargers for your cell phones and computers
  • wool hats and gloves

You should also make sure you have enough emergency ready-to-eat food in stock. Don’t forget a bunch of blankets, water, and anything else you think you might need in case of a cold winter emergency.

When it comes to protecting your home from harsh winter conditions, it’s best to be proactive and plan ahead. By using the tips in this post, you’ll be able to keep yourself and your family warm, safe, and comfortable. By planning ahead, you be able to spend more time with your family and avoid spending time on a potential disaster.

preparing your home for winter

Get in touch with a friendly loan originator now to get answers to your questions, and/or to get the ball rolling on your mortgage approval!

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