Nick is one of our Property Managers and he thought that a good blog article would be on the topic of winterizing your home!
It is a good time to start thinking about preparing your home for winter. By doing some proactive maintenance and repair, you can save money on utility bills and avoid major problems before it is really cold outside!
Here are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter:
1) Furnace Inspection
- Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
- Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
- Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
2) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows
- Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
- Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
- Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
- If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
3) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
- From the ground, do a visual inspection of your gutters. Contact your property manager if you see leaves, sticks, etc.
- Make sure that there are splash blocks under each downspout.
4) Service Weather-Specific Equipment
- Drain gas from lawnmowers.
- Service or tune-up snow blowers.
- Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
- Buy bags of ice-melt / sand.
5) Check Foundation
- Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
- Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
- Secure crawlspace entrances.
6) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
- Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
7) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
- Drain all garden hoses.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 65 degrees.
8) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces
- Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
- Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
9) Prepare an Emergency Kit
- Make sure you have flashlights and plenty of batteries for use during a power outage.
- Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
- Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
10) Your Car
- Replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
- Make sure your defrost and heater work.
- Put in the right amount of antifreeze.
- Make sure your tire pressure is good and if you have 4WD, make sure the 4WD is working.