While the weather outside may be frightful, your home maintenance doesn’t have to be. Prepping your home for winter is an important part of maintaining your home and could prevent costly damage. Make these seven simple tips part of your seasonal routine.
1. Bring the heat.
You don’t want to realize there’s an issue with your heat on the first cold night of the year. Before the cold season starts, have a licensed contractor clean and inspect your furnace and chimneys. You should also replace your furnace filters monthly during the winter.
2. Prepare the pipes.
Winterize your plumbing pipes and drain any outdoor faucets and garden hoses to prevent freezing. To plan ahead in case a pipe bursts, make sure everyone in the house knows where and how to turn off the water supply to the house.
3. Pick up sticks
Trim trees and cut dead branches to prevent falling limbs from damaging your home. Clean out any sticks and leaves from your gutters so they can drain properly, and make sure the downspout points away from your home’s foundation.
4. Check your smoke detectors
You should test your smoke detectors at least once a season, which makes the start of winter a perfect time to make sure they’re working properly. Clean off any dust and consider changing the batteries – or maybe switch to the newer detectors with a 10-year lithium battery.
5. Seal air leaks
During winter, cold air can creep into your house through small cracks and openings, prompting you to turn up the thermostat. Inspect any drafty doors or windows and seal them with weather-stripping products, caulk or pressurized expanding foam. This will keep your home warmer without putting a dent in your heating bill.
6. Keep the attic critter-free
Your attic is the perfect winter retreat for squirrels, birds, possums and other critters. They can make a mess, damage your home from within, and even create health issues for your family. Trim your trees well away from the house, make sure your gable vents are secure, and walk around your house while looking at your roof area to make sure there are no openings for animals to get in.
7. Play it cool(er)
By lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees, you’ll help save on your heating bill. Plus, there’ll still be plenty of hot water for showers, laundry and the dishwasher.
While these steps can help in getting your home ready for winter, winter-related damages can still catch you by surprise. Give yourself that extra peace of mind with home insurance from Alfa®. Call your local agent today.