The festive season is right around the corner, and we all know what this means – “ultra-cold” temperatures outdoors. Aside from all the pomp and glory the festive season brings into our lives; we also have to prepare for it the right way. Any savvy homeowner knows all too well to remember this aspect of property maintenance.
Below is a useful guide on some 6 tips to prepare your home for winter? By now you should know that home maintenance in the cold weather is a multifaceted process. However, we outlined the major facets for you to consider.
6 Tips to Consider
Inspect the Chimney, Flue, and Fireplace
While most people will ignore it during the warm seasons, a wood-burning fireplace or a chimney can be a significant source of cold air leaks. Thus, you have to evaluate the chimney or fireplace before the onset of the festive season. A few key sections to check out include:
- Check for obstructions – ensure the chimney is clear of issues such as nests, from animals such as birds of pests.
- Evaluate the damper – the damper is important ventilation and ensure it opens the right way for your convenience.
- Inspect the chimney draft – ensure the chimney can produce fire and smoke up as required. You can test it by using a few pieces of paper. Roll them up and light them up in the fireplace. If the smoke fails to rise as required, consult a professional service for insight.
Remember the Air Conditioning System
Often neglected, the air conditioning system is an essential aspect of cooling systems in your home. It has a condensing unit outside, which helps beat the heat of the summer. However, since an AC is a multi-component tool, it may require lots of attention as the winter season sets in. Check out the following aspects if you want to winterize your AC:
- Check the condensing unit – this component is prone to debris. Get a hose and use it to clean the headset using high-pressure water. Remember to clean the blades and condensing coils. Let it dry before covering it. The good thing is that most air conditioners require this process occasionally.
- Cover the condensing unit – left unprotected, the condensing unit is prone to damage due to debris or rusting from exposure to moist air. While these units are suitable for outdoor use, covering them helps improve their longevity.
The Insulation is Also Important
Making significant upgrades to the insulation is a process that requires skill on your part as the homeowner. A home with high-quality insulation stays warm during winter and is a process that’s best left for the professionals. Why? It’s because it’s a process that involves evaluating various components in the home. However, below are a few DIY steps you should consider:
- Insulate water heater – get an insulation blanket, which you can customize using the worn-out ones in your home
- Insulate switch plates and exterior outlets – these components are crucial for insulation. Get an affordable sealing gasket for this process.
- Cover any dormant fireplace – it’s a house component with the most ventilation, especially if you use wood for fire. If you are not using it, keep it sealed, stopping any cold air from penetrating through the chimney.
Check the Doors and Windows
Infiltration of cold air from leaks in your windows and doors can easily compromise the warmth in your home. You can make things convenient by learning how to check the doors and windows for leaks. It’s an excellent approach to reducing and low-temperature issues. Below are a few key tips:
- Check the outside moldings – the most critical aspect here would be the quality of the caulking. Ensure you determine whether the caulking is durable and of high quality. You may have to replace it if it shows signs of damage.
- The locks – window locks are necessary because they allow you to seal your window shut. Ensure you choose locks that are secure and safe to stop the likelihood of air penetration.
- Evaluate the tracks on windows – you may also benefit from cleaning the tracks to remove debris. The main reason for this is to help reduce any likelihood of damaging the seals on the window.
Shutdown and Drain the Water Systems
You may have to shut down your outdoor pool to prepare it for the winter. While you can do this DIY process, getting a professional service to help can be convenient. The best time to work on your pool would be during the summer or fall, just before the winter. Remember to shut down the sprinkler system because it can be prone to the cold weather. The water remaining inside the faucet might lead to blockages, which may warrant extra repairs after winter. Make things convenient by shutting down these water systems.
Check Your Patios, Outdoor Plants, and More
The outdoors is also an equally important aspect of your home. You may have to prepare a few sections from the extensive damage of cold weather. For instance, check your patios for seats, outdoor fridges, and more. These are all prone to cold weather, such as the patio seat made using leather. Remember to get your outdoor plants inside if possible, such as the potted ones. However, if they are garden plants, consider getting the types that are resistant to cold weather.
The cold weather season is almost setting in this year. As a savvy homeowner, we strongly suggest you prepare your property for these low temperatures. It’s a process that most includes ensuring the home is well insulated. You have to check aspects such as window locks, seals, roofs, the AC, etc. Plus, getting prepared for the cold winter is about protecting your plants and any delicate item outdoors. Doing so will save you lots of cash in maintenance costs next year and make your home ready for the cold season.