Winter preparation, by necessity, must begin well in advance of the season itself. While the winter season can be difficult for improperly prepared homes, if you have taken the time to make sure you are ready, the season need not cause you undue worry. Here are some of the most important ways to weatherproof your home heading into the coldest season.
Clean the Exterior
Cleaning the exterior of your home is a pain in the best of weather. When the snow starts to fall and temperatures plunge, no one wants to be fiddling around on a slippery and dangerous roof. Instead, you should make sure to get in one last cleaning while the last lingering autumn warmth is in the air. Clean out your gutters, make sure your roof is sound, wash the exterior of your home, and pick up your lawn and yard. Doing so prevents serious problems once actual winter has started.
Checking for Leaks
You’ll also want to walk the outside of your house looking for cracks while you’re at it. Any small holes or other fractures will cost you a pretty penny in lost heat during the coldest months. Moreover, cracks can cause much greater damage if they start to take on water during the winter; the water can freeze and expand, leaving bigger gouges in the side of your home that will cost more to repair. Crack and hole maintenance isn’t always cheap, but the longer you delay dealing with the problem, the more of a problem it will become.
Routine Furnace Maintenance
Image via Flickr by MarkDoliner
As winter starts, you’ll want to begin using the heating functions of your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. But after months of sitting idle, your furnace may not want to cooperate. Lots of problems can arise over the spring, summer, and fall months as your furnace gradually degrades. Bringing in an expert to evaluate the function of your furnace and perform maintenance and repairs that are needed ensures that your HVAC does what you want every time you turn it on. The earlier in the season that you put in your service call, the easier it will be to get a technician — and at better rates.
One of the greatest sources of heat loss in the modern home, windows are pleasantly decorous and a great source of daytime lighting, but they can end up costing you plenty if they are not treated properly. To combat this heating loss, make sure to caulk any cracks on the join between the window and the wall, and put on some weather stripping for good measure. Thick curtains will also let you keep the heat inside your house, cutting the amount of work your HVAC needs to do.
Once the snow starts falling, it will be too late to make your winter preparations. So be sure to look ahead and prepare your house for the coming seasons. The reductions to your utilities will be worth it.