5 Tips for Winter-Proofing Your Home
As we enter the last few months of summer weather, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your home for the winter in the Midwest. Between snow, freezing temperatures and rising fuel and energy bills, it’s important to do everything you can around the house to keep the warmth inside and keep your family safe.
Consider a few cold weather safety and maintenance tips to help keep your home safe and warm this winter:
- Check your roof and gutters
As the temperatures drop, it’s important to manage any water flow around your house. This means you’ll need to inspect your roof, singles and gutters for leaks and cracks. You should also remove any leaves or tree branches found in your gutters that may prevent water from escaping properly. Water that sits in any crack or gutter can freeze and expand, causing damage to your roof or foundation. As snow melts over time, it can also cause leaks and erosion. Scheduling a repair before the weather is too cold can help prevent damage to your house.
- Turn off and cover exterior faucets
Speaking of ice, it’s also important to turn off any water sources outside when preparing for the winter months. Water left in your pipes can expand and become disastrous in freezing temperatures. Many home maintenance companies recommend shutting off and draining outdoor garden, pool and hot tub hoses by October to prevent pipes from bursting. Outdoor faucet covers are also an inexpensive way to ensure your pipes don’t freeze.
- Clean your furnace and chimney
When the temperatures drop, it’s likely you’ll be using more heat inside your house. To ensure you’re being safe and energy-efficient, consider having your furnace serviced around November. This can also help keep your unit working properly and prevent you from making expensive updates to your home that could’ve been prevented. You can also have your chimney swept if you plan to use your fireplace as an additional source of heat.
- Seal gaps around door frames and windows
Cold air can get into your house even through small cracks in your door frames, around your trim and through your window sills. You can find leaky spots with a smoke pencil, which indicates air leaks with a small trail of smoke. To keep all the warmth inside, make sure you inspect these entry points and seal them with caulk, spray foam or other weatherproofing materials.
- Change out HVAC filters and insulation
Finally, make sure you’ve changed out the filters on your HVAC unit before the weather gets too cold. This will help ensure the air you’re breathing is clean and that your unit is performing as efficiently as possible. Keeping your filters and insulation up-to-date can save you quite a bit of money on your next energy bill.
When you’re preparing your home for the Midwest winter, make sure you consider these simple tips and consult professionals in your community to help keep you safe and warm.