Is your home prepared to weather the upcoming winter? In this episode of Naturally NWA, I’m going to share seven home maintenance tasks to do before winter to avoid any damage to your house. We’ll look at everything from filling in door and window gaps to switching your ceiling fans’ direction so you’re prepared for colder days.
Fill In The Gaps
Because winter can wreak havoc on your home both inside and out, smart homeowners know which things needed to be done now to avoid costly damage later. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll definitely want to follow these seven maintenance steps. The first thing that I would recommend is filling the gaps around your doors and your windows.
Drafts around windows and doors can leave you feeling cold, and they could be wasting energy as your furnace works harder to warm that cool air. It’s recommended that you caulk around the trim of your windows to seal off any drafts. You can also install weather stripping around the edges of doors and windows to create a tight seal.
Clean Your Gutters And Furnace
The second task is cleaning your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to issues like water damage, loosened gutters, ice dams, and issues with insects and rodents. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleared of leaves, sticks, and other debris at least twice a year—whether you handle this chore yourself or call a professional.
The third task is to check your furnace. It’s a good idea to do some basic maintenance to help your heating system run smoothly through the winter. Check your furnace filter and change it if it looks dirty, says Energy Star. The filters should be replaced at least every three months. It’s also a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and checked by a professional annually.
Inspect Your Chimney And Fireplace
The fourth task that you want to complete before winter is inspecting your chimney and fireplace. There’s something special about a warm fire on a cold winter’s night, but it’s important to get your chimneys, vents, and fireplace clean first.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends having a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. If you have a gas fireplace, your chimney and flue should be inspected for any blockages, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A professional will also inspect the gas lines and vents for leaks and can make necessary repairs.
Turn Of Your Faucets
The fifth task that you’ll want to do before winter is turning off your outside faucets. In cold weather, water and exterior pipes can freeze and cause pipes to bust. So before the temperatures dip, disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets.
If your exterior faucets have shut-off valves, it’s recommended that you turn them completely off. Then release any water remaining in the pipe by opening and closing the outside tap. You can also help protect exterior faucets with an insulated cover.
Inspect Your Roof
The sixth task is inspecting your roof. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends having your roof inspected twice a year to check for any signs of damage.
Whether you inspect it yourself or hire a professional, spotting potential problems like damaged or missing shingles may help you avoid a bigger problem—and potentially more expensive repairs down the road. That’s why it’s a good idea to make any necessary small repairs before the sleet, ice, and snow of winter arrive.
Switch Your Ceiling Fans
Finally, the seventh task—and the easiest one—is to switch your ceiling fans’ direction. When the colder weather gets cooler, flip your ceiling fans’ reverse switches so that the fans move in a clockwise direction.
Energy Star says that this creates an updraft, pushing the warm air that rises toward the ceiling back down into the room. By doing this, you may be able to turn down the thermostat and save on your heating bills.
Ready For Winter
These seven tasks can help save you thousands of dollars on repairs later and will help ensure that you’re not left out in the cold this winter. If you need recommendations of any local and reputable professionals to help you with these tasks, please reach out and I would be happy to provide recommendations of people that you can trust.
Thanks again for watching another episode of Naturally NWA, my show all about living here in Northwest Arkansas. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!