Making sure your home stays warm and comfortable throughout the winter is obviously essential. After all, you don’t want to suddenly find yourself freezing without adequate heat when the worst of the freezing weather sets in. Similarly, you definitely don’t want to suddenly be faced with flooding or water damage. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps that you can take now to ensure you and your family stay nice and toasty all winter long and your home stays free of any potential damage caused by snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.
Hiring a professional to inspect your heating system and give your furnace a tune-up is one of the most effective and easiest things you can do to beat the winter chill. Not only will this ensure your heating system is functioning properly and providing adequate heat, but it can also improve your system’s efficiency. In this way, you might be able to lower your heating costs.
If the home has a gas or wood fireplace, it is also vital that you have both the fireplace and chimneys inspected and maintained prior to winter. In this way, you can make sure that your gas fireplace is functioning efficiently and, more importantly, safely. Carbon monoxide, gas leaks, and fire danger are just a few of the potential hazards that this step can help you avoid.
Drafts around your windows and doors can both let in cold air and contribute to heat loss. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the weather-stripping around all the windows and doors and replace it if needed. You’ll also want to make sure that the area around the windows and doors is properly caulked and sealed. Finally, if your home has older single-pane windows, or you live in an exceptionally cold place, you might want to also consider installing plastic over the inside of the windows for the winter.
Burst water pipes are one of the last things you’ll want to deal with during the winter. For this reason, it is essential that you unhook all hoses and shut off all outdoor faucets. If your home has a sprinkler system, you’ll also need to ensure it is properly drained or blown out to prevent the lines from freezing and breaking.
Heavy snowfalls can cause a huge amount of water runoff. If your home’s gutters and downspouts are damaged or clogged, all this water has the potential to pool up next to your foundation and flood your home’s basement or crawlspace. Gutters that won’t drain properly can also cause ice dams to build on the roof. When this happens, it can result in leaks or severe damage to your roof and gutters.
Putting in a bit of time and effort to ensure your home is ready for winter can provide huge benefits. Still, it is vital that you take these steps before the worst of the winter weather hits. Otherwise, you might find yourself facing much bigger issues once the temperature begins to plummet.