Autumn brings with it crisp, cooler weather and the signs of the colder season to come. Now is the time to take measures to winterize your home against the long chilly months. Weatherproofing is a cheap way to make a big difference in the comfort of your home. A home winterization checklist provides the needed steps to prepare your home for winter.
Gutters and Roof
- Clean gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Install leaf guards on gutters. Inspect the roof for worn shingles. Replace if needed. Add extra insulation to the attic.
Furnace, Heating System and Fireplace
- Have an HVAC professional inspect the furnace and clean ducts. Change furnace filters monthly. Install a programmable thermostat.
Cap the top of the chimney to the fireplace. Have the chimney cleaned to remove soot and creosote build-up. Stock up on firewood and store in a dry place away from the home's exterior.
Exterior, Doors and Windows
- Seal any crevice cracks and exposed areas around pipes. Replace cracked window glass. Prime and paint any newly exposed wood around windows. Apply weatherstripping around exterior doors and caulk windows. Protect window wells in basements with plastic shields. Install storm windows.
- Rake debris and vegetation away from the foundation. Seal any cracks and holes to prevent rodents from entering. Inspect the sill plate for pests or dry rot. Be sure to secure the crawlspace entrance.
- Drain garden hoses to prevent freezing faucets. Insulate plumbing pipes that are exposed. Air conditioner pipes should be drained.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Install and test smoke detectors where required in the home. Install a carbon monoxide detector near water heaters or the furnace, and test them.
- Trim any branches from trees that are hanging over your home or electric wires. Seal any hard-scape surfaces like driveways and wooden decks. Drain lawnmowers of gas, clean the mower deck of built-up grass, and sharpen the blades before storing for the winter. Clean and store garden equipment. Stock up on bags of sand or ice melt.
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes candles, matches or a lighter for use during power outages. Have a battery back-up for your computer and other electronic equipment. Stock up on extra bottled water and non-perishable food. Don't forget to have extra pet food. Store extra blankets and first-aid kits in a dry location that is easy to access.