The bitter cold of winter can wreak havoc on your home and vehicle if you're not prepared. Follow these steps on home maintenance so you can enjoy your winter.
Winter can be breathtakingly beautiful, but it can also take your breath away with anxious thoughts of blizzards, ice storms, and freezing temperatures. As a homeowner, there are some steps you can take to help you focus more on winter’s beauty and less on winter’s wrath. To make sure your home is prepared for the effects of cold weather, here are some DIY tips for weatherproofing your home:
- Take steps now to prevent frozen pipes later. Unhook all outdoor water hoses and drain them before storing. Cover outdoor spigots with insulated sleeves, and add insulation to pipes in your attic, basement, or crawl space, if needed. Find your home’s main water shut-off valve so you can access it quickly in case of an emergency.
- To minimize drafts and to keep warm air inside, perform an inspection around your home for exposed air leaks and seal any that you find. Inspect all door weather seals and weather stripping to ensure that they are in good condition, and seal window frames tightly.
- If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, stock up on firewood before the temperature drops. Get your chimney cleaned and inspected to avoid a fire hazard.
- Make sure your gutters are clear of any fallen leaves and debris.
- Inspect your roof for missing or loose shingles
,or for any sign of potential leaks.
- Winterize pools, hot tubs, and automatic irrigation systems.
- To keep your heating system running efficiently this winter, change your furnace filters per manufacturer’s directions.
- Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils to keep it running efficiently, too.
- To help keep your home at a comfortable temperature and to help keep energy costs down, install a programmable or WiFi thermostat.
- Reverse ceiling fan blades to a clockwise direction in the winter to help circulate warm air down.
- Make room in your chest freezer or in your refrigerator’s freezer compartment for winter food storage to stretch summer’s bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Stock your pantry with winter comfort food items like soup and chili ingredients, hot chocolate, and apple cider.
- Buy disinfectant to keep surfaces, faucets, door knobs, phones, remote controls, and light switch plates clean to prevent the spread of germs during cold and flu season.
- Gather the coats, hats, mittens, boots, and umbrellas that your family will need for winter, and in a closet or other area near the door. Keep a shallow pan by the door for depositing wet boots to help keep floors clean and to prevent slipping accidents
- Purchase shovels, ice melt, salt, and other snow removal supplies that you’ll need. If you use a snow blower, make sure it is maintained and ready to go.
- Consider the advantages of an American Home Shield® Home Warranty coverage for your home’s major systems and appliances. If a covered item breaks down due to normal wear and tear, a home warranty can give you valuable budget protection as well as access to qualified repair professionals.
Don’t forget to prepare your , too. Put together a winter road kit to have on hand in case of emergency, and have your tires checked or change to snow tires. Make you’re your windshield blades are in good shape, and have your car’s battery, oil, and fluid checked.