Get Your House Ready for Colder Weather

It’s only early November, but some parts of the country have already had snow. Others have had frost on the ground in the morning.

And it’s just a matter of time before it gets colder and other parts of the country are affected as well.

That means it’s time to start getting our homes prepared for the conditions, if we haven’t already done so. Keeping cold air from entering your home means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard.

And even if you’ve already “winterized” your home, perhaps there are a few things you either forgot to do or didn’t think to do.  Below is a list of things you might want to take a look at.

Inside checklist

  • Get your furnace cleaned and inspected. A clean furnace will operate more efficiently than a dirty one. Change your filter every couple of months. You don’t need an expensive filter. Some of the less expensive ones actually have better air flow.
  • Clean your ducts as well. Even a highly functional furnace will have trouble heating your home if the ducts are dirty or clogged.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Even if you can’t feel any air coming in, light a match and hold it near the edges. If it flickers, there’s a draft. Repair the weather stripping or caulking around window and door frames, and replace seals. Heavier drapes may be necessary with older windows.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat that can lower the temperature when you’re not at home and at night.
  • Test your home safety devices. Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide devices and smoke detectors.
  • Check your attic to make sure insulation is not covering any vents in the eaves.

Outside checklist

  • Clean your gutters. It’s amazing how many leaves and other debris can collect in gutters over the course of time. It’s important to keep gutters free of junk that can block water flow. Same thing with your downspouts.
  • Clean your chimney and fireplace. You may need a professional for this job. And while you’re at it, stock up on dry firewood.
  • Reinforce doors and windows. Install storm windows to replace your screens. Check caulk and seals around all windows and doors.
  • Rake your leaves. This may have to be done several times during the fall, depending on how old your trees are, but this is more than a cosmetic exercise. Your lawn will be healthier in the spring if you get a vast majority of leaves off it in the fall and winter.
  • Speaking of lawns, this is a good time to fertilize it. That should minimize the number of spring weeds you’ll get and prevent other damage done by the cold.
  • Trim tree limbs so that they are not near the roof of your home or, even worse, near power lines. Snow and ice on tree limbs can cause big problems.

Getting your home ready for colder weather now will save you time later. Not to mention saving you money in heating costs.

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