Getting Ready for Winter

Winter can be hard on a home, so it’s important to take steps to protect your property, boost energy efficiency, and make sure you’re ready for the cold. Here are a few helpful tips to prepare your home for winter.

Make Sure the Heating System Works

So that you’re ready for chilly weather when winter sets in, have the furnace checked by a licensed professional to make sure that everything is operating efficiently. If your HVAC system is showing potential for failure, they will know and can advise you on what repairs to make.

If you use a fireplace, hire a chimney sweep to remove excess soot and any nests that animals may have made in the chimney. This will prevent chimney fires and other damage. It is also important to check the damper. If it is warped, it will not seal properly. Make sure to fix the damper before you need to use it.

Another way to prepare your home for winter is to reverse the ceiling fans. Set your fans to run clockwise to disperse the warm air that gets trapped near the ceiling.

Prepare Your Home for Winter by Sealing Gaps

Winter drafts impact your home’s efficiency and increase your utility bills. Add weather stripping or caulk to seal your windows and minimize heat loss. If cold air is coming through the bottom of the door, add a draft stopper. If your door is drafty around the edges, replace the weather stripping.

Protect Pipes from Freezing

Prepare your home for winter by preventing frozen pipes and plumbing. The cold weather increases the risk of frozen pipes. If your pipes do freeze, be sure to do the following before thawing them:

  • Make sure you turn off the water supply.
  • Open a faucet to prevent further build-up of ice in the pipes.
  • Thaw the pipes with space heaters. If you cannot identify the source of the frozen pipes, consult a plumbing professional.

Taking steps to prevent freezing in the first place is preferable to trying to thaw them. Insulate your pipes, let water drip on cold nights, and keep your cabinets with plumbing pipes open.

Prepare Your Home for Winter by Testing Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

More house fires occur during the winter because more homeowners are using their fireplace and furnace. Because of this, there’s also a greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For this reason, your home should have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check to see whether the batteries are working and keep and fresh batteries on hand at all times.

Many people look forward to staying cozy during the colder months, but storms and cold weather will cause a lot of distress unless you prepare your home for winter.

Secure Home Inspection Services provides home inspections to buyers in the Greater Buffalo area. Contact us to schedule our services.