Winter is approaching once again, and with it will come cold weather and dependence on our heating systems. Unfortunately, leaving your furnace untouched throughout the summer and failing to prep your home sufficiently can put extra strain on your equipment and reduce your home’s efficiency. Below, we’ll discuss seven steps to get your home ready for the winter weather this year.
Risks of Not Preparing Your Home
Many homeowners shut their furnaces off at the end of the winter season and forget about it until the following year. This can cause damage to the equipment, increasing the likelihood of losing heat in the winter and requiring repairs and maintenance.
Additionally, not preparing your home appropriately means that your house won’t be heated and retain heat as efficiently as possible, and it’s less likely to stand up to the extreme weather during the winter. Heat loss to the outside world, a furnace that struggles to keep up with demand, and insufficient drainage for melting snow can all lead to expensive property damage.
Seven Tips to Prepare
Below are seven easy steps you can take to prepare your home for winter this year.
1 Clean Out Your Gutters
Fall leaves your gutters full of tree debris, which can block snowmelt and cause gutter leaks and overflows. Make sure you clean your gutters out before the first snowfall to avoid significant issues.
2 Turn Off Exterior Water Sources
Pipes that reach the exterior of your house — like hose bibs and sprinkler systems — are prone to freezing. Shut them off and drain them as best as possible to avoid breaks.
3 Inspect Your Roof
Check your roof for damage or weak spots before the first snowfall. Snow is heavy and can cause weak areas to collapse, and melting snow can infiltrate damage and cause severe interior leaks.
4 Reverse Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fans have a reverse option, turn it on before winter. Reversed fans help distribute warm air more evenly and might make your home more efficient and comfortable.
5 Seal Gaps to the Exterior
Many homeowners have gaps around their windows and doors that allow rapid heat loss to the outside. Seal these with caulk to minimize the drain on your heating system.
6 Seal Cracks in Your Foundation
All foundations crack at some point, usually due to natural concrete settlement. Sealing these cracks will help limit heat loss and water intrusion from snowmelt. You might want to hire a professional for this one, as some cracks are potentially dangerous and might need additional repair.
7 Get Your HVAC System Tuned
Preparing your heating system by getting professional maintenance is one of the best things you can do to ensure your home remains warm, comfortable, and safe throughout the winter.