Checklist: Preparing Your Home for Colder Weather

The pantry is stocked with hot cocoa and there’s a stack of logs by the fireplace.  Youmay be ready for colder weather, but is your home?  Whether you expect your winter to be mild or wild, don’t ignore these steps to get your house ready for colder weather.

Check weather stripping around doors and windows, and replace where necessary.

Place a draft snake or rolled towel underneath drafty doors.

Turn the toggle switch on your ceiling fans so that the downward sides of the blades are leading. (In most cases, this means they’ll be rotating clockwise.)  This rotation will help pull warm air down into the room.

Remove and store window AC units.  If you leave them in year round, air can seep in (and out) through the sides.

Reduce th temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees or lower.  You’ll enjoy lower utility bills – and you won’t have to worry about getting scalded.

Install storm doors and windows.  Yes, it’s a time and money investment, but it can seal drafts and reduce airflow significantly, especially if you live in a cold climate.

Before the weather gets too cold, get your heating system inspected by a professional.  Periodic maintenance will help your unit run smoothly.

Make sure you have enough insulation in your attic.  A well-insulated attic should have at least 12 inches of insulation.  Here’s a tip:  If youcan see the ceiling joists, you need to add more.

Exterior and Lawn

Prepare your lawn.  Rake up all your leaves before winter arrives.  Apply a sustained-release fertilizer in late fall – it will help the roots survive the cold season and bounce back quickly in the spring.

Drain all hoses and turn off faucets.

Check your gutters.  Properly pitched gutters slope between 1//16 inch and 1/8 inch per foot.

Inspect the exterior of your house.  Seal entry points around pipes with caulk or foam.

Seal driveway and walkway cracks.  For crevices less than a half-inch wide, use acrylic latex concrete repair compound.  For larger cracks, apply vinyl concrete patching compound with a trowel.

Empty your lawnmower’s fuel tank and store it for the winter.

from AHS November newsletter “Inside & Out”

Enhanced by Zemanta