Winter is upon us once again, and On Q Financial, LLC wants to make sure your home is ready for the weather that comes with it! We’ve put together this simple checklist to help you prevent expensive repairs, save money, and keep you warm all winter long!
Check Your Roof and Gutters
One of the most important things you can do to winterize your home is to ensure your roof and gutters are in order. Order a roof inspection, especially if you are already into freezing temperatures. It’s best to leave the dangerous jobs to the professionals. Hire out for repairs as needed. Small cracks can quickly become large leaks if left unchecked during the winter months.
Gutters are a similar story, but proper maintenance can ensure you are ready for the heaviest snow or rainfalls. Cleaning your gutters before winter can save you from costly repairs when debris freezes, clogging the drains and allowing water to pool. If you have a flat roof, make sure you equip it with the proper drainage.
Point Drain Pipes Away
Occasionally drain pipes can get turned around. Check that you have pointed your rain drainage away from your house, and there is a drainage path leading away from the home. Like issues caused by clogged gutters, water seeping in and freezing near your house’s foundation can cause cracks.
Inspect Your Home for Leaks and Cracks
One of the most cost-effective repairs that can save you money this season is checking for cracks and leaks on the interior and exterior of your home. You will want to check these locations, especially:
- window sills
- concrete foundation
- stucco exterior
- broken window latches or locks
Your local hardware or big box store should be able to help you find the best sealing method for your purpose. Products like draft guards and weatherstrip tape can offer an easy, quick solution to seal gaps and keep heat in your home.
Test Your Furnace
Before you actually need to turn on the heat, run your furnace to ensure it’s working correctly. You may also want to consider getting your furnace inspected. The inspection could catch needed repair and prevent you from having to replace the entire unit. To ensure that your furnace is running effectively, replace your unit filters every 3-4 months. Otherwise, dust and other buildup can restrict airflow.
Check On Your Homes Pipes
If you’re going out of town, don’t turn your heat off. Doing so may cause your pipes to burst when you return home. Instead, keep your thermostat at a level that will keep your lines warm enough to prevent freezing but won’t kill your energy bill!
Drain A/C pipes and outdoor water faucets. Doing so will help to prevent cracked pipes or damage to irrigation systems. If your home has a main shutoff for the AC or outdoor faucets, make sure to shut them off.
An inexpensive way to prevent pipes that run near your home’s exterior from freezing is to wrap them with insulation. You should be able to find insulation for this purpose at a home improvement store.
Locate Your Main Water Shut Off
If your pipes do freeze and burst, you’ll want to know where your home’s main water shut off is so you can immediately turn it off to prevent flooding. Knowing where to find your main water shutoff is something all homeowners should know regardless of the weather, as it can help when making any plumbing repairs.
Prepare for Snow and Ice
Pour sand, salt, or ice melt on walkways to keep them from getting slippery, keeping your yard safe. Some cities have laws or ordinances requiring that you shovel your sidewalks! If you’re expecting a lot of snow, invest in a snow shovel, making the job much easier.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
If you’re looking to keep your home warmer and save money, have your ceiling fans rotate clockwise to push warm air down rather than lift it. You might just find yourself saving a couple of bucks off your energy bill using this method. Just remember to switch them back to counter-clockwise once the warmer weather comes!
Clean Your Chimney and Fireplace
Dust and debris from previous years can cause soot and smoke to enter your home. Hiring a professional chimney cleaner, depending on how often you use it, will help prevent these issues. Having the chimney cleaned or professionally inspected when buying a home is especially important!
Know who to call
Save the number for your utilities in your contacts. It may also be prudent to save the number for a repair service. This way, you have a trusted and reliable connection in case anything goes wrong.
Winter offers cozy weather, snow, and some of our favorite holidays. Don’t stress about your home. Review these items for yourself to ensure you are ready for the first snowfall!
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