Once the temperatures dip, we’re all reminded of the importance of having our homes winter-ready. Suddenly you can feel drafts seeping in from around your windows and doors, and wonder if your home will be able to withstand the snow, ice, and storms that winter will eventually bring. We’ve put together this list of home maintenance tips to help you gear up for the season ahead, so you can get back to staying cozy and warm inside.
Turn Off Any Outside Faucets
Start outdoors, by shutting down the water supply. It’s important to turn off any outside faucets because you don’t want to risk having your pipes burst over the winter. Any water that is left undrained can freeze, causing this to happen. The water shut-off valve is usually located in the basement, on the inside of the wall where the outdoor faucet is located. Turn off the water supply, disconnect your garden hose (if you haven’t already), and be sure to drain any remaining water.
Clean Out Your Eavestroughs And Gutters
Having clean eavestroughs and gutters isn’t just about aesthetics, it serves an important function. Heading into winter, your eaves should be clear of all debris, whether that’s leaves, twigs, or dirt. Anything that clogs your gutters increases the chance that you’ll experience leaks in your home—either from rain or melting snow that, because of these blockages, can no longer drain efficiently. It’s also a good idea to install extended downspouts; these carry water further away from your home’s foundation, ideally by at least five feet.
Get Your Furnace Serviced
Don’t skip this step, as a professional technician can spot any current or potential issues right away. Every autumn, book a visit for a routine maintenance check so you can have peace of mind that your furnace is running efficiently. Your technician will also likely be able to suggest a few money-saving tips too; for example, if your home has an older thermostat, it may be worth switching to a programmable one. Make sure you start the season with clean air filters too. While you’re at it, check your carbon monoxide detectors; test to make sure they are in working order and install new batteries.
Stop Drafts Of Cold Air From Entering Your Home
A little time and effort spent now will have a huge pay-off in the depths of winter. If you notice any drafts coming from your window and door frames, address them right away. You can use weather stripping or caulking to properly seal these areas and prevent not only the cold air from coming in, but also your warm air from leaking out. It’s wise to caulk both inside and out, to create the most secure seals. The good news is these are relatively easy DIY projects that you can accomplish in an afternoon. Keep in mind that you can apply weatherstripping any time of year but the adhesive tends to work best at slightly warmer temperatures, so don’t delay.
These home maintenance tips should help keep you more comfortable this winter—and hopefully save you a few bucks on home heating costs too. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to follow along with the Caliber blog for more home maintenance advice.