Cold weather is on its way, so it’s time to prepare your home for the winter months. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, there are a few key tasks you’ll want to complete before the snow starts falling. Our list will cover the basics like gutters and downspouts. But we’ll also cover a few things you might not have thought of like replacing lumpy mattresses before snowfall makes them even more difficult to move. So get out your to-do list and get ready to check off these essential winter prep items!
Winter Preparation Checklist
Clean and Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
This one is important for preventing water damage to your roof and foundation. Make sure to remove all leaves, twigs and debris from your gutters so that they can adequately drain when it rains or snows.
Inspect Your Roof
Check for any missing or damaged shingles and make repairs as needed. Taking care of minor problems now will help prevent bigger ones down the road. If you need to have your roof redone, schedule it well before you typically receive your first snowfall. After all, fall is the best time of year to replace your roof!
Caulk Gaps Around Windows and Doors
Gaps around windows and doors can let in drafts, so it’s essential to caulk them up before winter arrives. This will help keep your home warm and your energy bills low. Unfortunately, although this is a common task, it’s often done poorly. To avoid a sloppy finish, take tips from home reno expert Bob Vila and caulk like a pro.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are great for circulating air and keeping rooms cool in the summer, but did you know they can also be used in winter? Most ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction of the blades. During the winter, you’ll want to set the blades to rotate clockwise at the lowest speed. This produces an updraft that pushes warm air near the ceiling down into the room, making it more comfortable for you to be in without creating a breeze.
Service Your Furnace
Getting your furnace serviced before winter arrives is always a good idea. This helps ensure that it’s running efficiently and won’t break down when you need it most. According to Forbes, the average life expectancy of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years. So the closer your furnace is to the end of its lifespan, the more critical it is to have it serviced regularly.
Wash Your Windows
Washing your windows is important for letting in natural light and keeping your home bright and cheerful during the dark winter months, which can help fight seasonal depression. It’s also an excellent opportunity to check for any cracks or damage that need to be repaired. Use a squeegee and clean from top to bottom to get streak-free results.
Prep Your Patio Furniture
If you have any outdoor furniture, clean and store it properly before the winter weather hits. This will help extend its lifespan and prevent it from rusting or becoming damaged. If you don’t have a place to store your patio furniture, consider investing in a cover to protect it from the elements. When exposed to the harshness of winter and a spring thaw, metal patio furniture can become rusted and dangerous. In contrast, plastic may become warped and weakened. So it’s important to take the necessary precautions.
Make Furniture Purchases
If you have plans to buy any new furniture for your home, fall is the perfect time to do it. Many stores offer big sales around the holidays, so you can get great deals on items like couches, chairs and tables. Moving these items into your home will also be easier before the snow and ice make everything more complicated. So if you’re looking to add new bedroom essentials to your home or update that “well-loved” living room couch, fall is the ideal time to shop around.
Touch Up Your Paint
If your walls look a little worse for wear, now is an excellent time to give them a fresh coat of paint. This is also a great opportunity to experiment with new colors and create a new look for your home. In addition, when painting in the fall, you can open windows without losing cool air-conditioned or warm heated air, saving you money on your energy bill. Just clean the walls thoroughly before you start painting and use a primer to help the new paint adhere better.
Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s essential to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Still, it’s especially crucial to do so before winter arrives. This is because carbon monoxide poisoning is more common in colder months. Hold the test button to test your smoke detectors until the alarm sounds. For carbon monoxide detectors, press and release the test button. If either of these devices is not working correctly, replace the batteries and/or the unit itself. They should be replaced every ten years to ensure they’re working properly.
Indulge in Some Creature Comforts
Inevitably, winter is when we spend a lot of time indoors. Aside from some great outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding, most of us prefer to curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch TV or relax in a warm bath when it’s cold outside. So make sure your home is as cozy as possible by investing in some creature comforts. This could mean buying a new comforter for your bed, getting a cozy throw for the couch or investing in spa bathroom accessories. Whatever will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your own home, go for it!
The Last Word on Winter Readiness
Don’t wait until winter is upon us to prepare your home. By taking care of some critical tasks now, you can enjoy a warm and comfortable home all season long. From checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to making sure your windows are clean, you can do plenty of things to get your home ready for winter. So get started today and make the most of the season.