We all have done the recommended winter car maintenance to ensure the proper operation of our vehicles. We also moved our summer clothes for the next year. But have we thought to prepare our home for winter? Preparing your home for the cold winter not only contributes to our comfort and safety but also saving up some money. With rising energy costs, ensuring the power of your heating equipment, and adding isolation and sealing gaps where air can leak. That will save you money by reducing heating costs. In the guide down below we will give you some tips to prepare your home for winter.
Inspect your house
As with any type of maintenance, preparing your home for the winter usually starts with a visual inspection, you will easily decide what to repair or improve. In some cases this is very simple and requires only minor tasks before the temperatures outside drop below zero, this is vital for the longevity of the materials and the systems in our homes.
Prepare the exterior of your house
Your chimney should be inspected by a professional and if necessary, cleaned every two to three years. Check the chimney cap if you have one that is located on the top of the chimney to make sure there is no damage from rain, birds, snow, or pests. If you find any damage, you can properly repair it using durable materials.
Check masonry chimneys for traces of loose or cracked mortar. If necessary, cracks in the mortar can be closed with sealants as a short-term solution. You can also clean and re-plaster your chimney to be more durable and you have a long term solution.
Examine the roof surface with binoculars from a distance, or if you have experience and take safety measurements, you can also climb and inspect the roof up close. If needed, replace damaged roofing materials. You should also inspect vents for a nest or some type of litter that can cause a blockage.
Gutters and gutter vertical
To clean and prepare the gutter for winter, the first thing you need to do is to remove the leaves and debris from the gutter. Secondly, run water through the gutters to check for leaks, if you find any you can seal the leaking gutter parts. And you can replace any gutter verticals that leak at the rear seam. Check the gutters and the vertical gutters if they are properly attached. If not, you need to attach them better because the winter is coming.
Exterior side of doors and windows
You should better inspect your doors and windows. Check the functionality of the blinds if you have them and see if there are gaps or holes on your windows or doors.
Close the water supply for the outdoor taps. Turn off the garden hose and insulate the water pipes and taps that are visible if you cannot turn off the water.
Inspect your exterior walls well and look for a damaged facade or missing material. You can replace the damaged material. Meanwhile, you can also check the facade penetration sites. If necessary, close them with a weatherproof sealant.
Outdoor air condition units and irrigation system
Remove leaves and other clutter from and around the air condition unit, and then cover it. If you have window air conditioners, you should be better to remove them. If you have a sprinkler system in your yard, empty them with a high-pressure air compressor. Close the water supply to the sprinklers and leave the taps slightly open.
Prepare your interior house
Attic and ceiling fans
Check the thermal insulation of your attic. If the thermal insulation has loosened somewhere, try to put it back in place and tuck it in. Be sure to insulate the access point. For the ceiling fans, turn the rotation of the fan clockwise and turn it off.
Smoke and carbon dioxide detector
Replace the batteries and test the detectors. If there is no carbon dioxide detector installed in your house, make sure to install it near the stove.
Look if there are any air leaks inside the house. A candle or incense stick can be used to help detect air leaks. The flame or smoke will show you from which way the air is coming. If you find some leaks, you can insulate them or seal them. Seal the leaks around doors, windows, or any place where the air leaks come from. Another way not to let the warm escape is to consider under concrete floor insulation since that can reduce cooling costs and lower your energy bills. Also, the heat can’t escape, so your house will never be cold again.
Doors and windows from the inside
Depending on the type, age, and insulation factor of your windows, you can insulate your window additionally with plastic foil and double-sided tape. You can use the help of the gasket. Moreover, for the door, you can check the state of the door, if there are any seals, you can replace them but if there is none, you can place thick mats on the bottom of the outer side of the door.
Check the damper on your fireplace to ensure that works properly. After that, inspect the interior of the fire clay bricks and mortar, and if you find cracks, you can seal them. In addition to that, close the flaps when the fireplace is not in use and open them just before you use the fireplace.
Furnace and air ducts
Have a professional to inspect, clean, and tidy your oven during each season. The humidifier of the house should be attached to the stove and set to relative humidity between 30 and 50. The air ducts must be cleaned professionally every year. You should check the channels for holes, if there are some, close the cracks with a special tape and clean the outlet section of the duct.