A pre-winter home checklist is essential for any homeowner hoping to protect their home, extend the lifespan of their equipment, and keep their family comfortable throughout the season. Preparing your house for winter is crucial to making the season bearable.
We’ve put together a pre-winter home checklist so you can finish preparing your home for winter and enjoy the season. As you think about how to prepare your home for winter, keep in mind that it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional.
1. Seal Small Openings
When learning how to prepare your home for winter, first determine if you have any points of air leakage or possible entry for pests. A warm, toasty house is an ideal refuse for critters seeking to escape the cold outdoors. By sealing small openings, you can keep out unwanted guests like mice, raccoons, and squirrels. Consider places around cable lines, dryer vents, and faucets.
Pests can also enter your home through broken screens, open gable vents, and cracks in your home’s foundation. If you’re particularly worried about pests or you’re not sure if you’ve found all possible entry points, have a pest control specialist inspect your home to identify and close off potential access points.
If you notice signs of rodent activity, such as mice droppings or scratching sounds from inside the walls, it’s definitely time to call on a pest control professional. The team here at CroppMetcalfe can eliminate your rodent problem before it becomes an infestation.
2. Replace Old Insulation
Preparing your house for winter requires proper insulation. A well-insulated attic is key to keeping your home warm through freezing temperatures since it prevents heated air from escaping your home through gaps in the roof while keeping cold air out at the same time.
Insulation not only provides increased comfort, but it also helps reduce energy costs. Plus, attic insulation prevents moisture and pests from getting into the attic, both of which can create a variety of problems for homeowners.
You may need to replace your attic insulation if you’re noticing:
- Chilly drafts
- A mold or mildew smell
- Pest activity
- High utility bills
3. Inspect Weather Stripping
Poor attic insulation isn’t the only reason you might see higher utility bills in the winter. If you’re experiencing chilly drafts or inexplicably expensive heating bills, your doors and windows may be to blame. Make sure to add “check weather stripping” to your getting your house ready for winter checklist.
Old door and window frames can warp over time, which creates gaps that allow heated air to escape and cold air to come in. You can easily determine whether your windows and doors are causing a chill by placing your hand near the seams — where the window meets the frame, or where the door meets the threshold. If you feel a breeze, it’s time to inspect and possibly replace your weather stripping.
4. Replace Furnace Filters
Aside from having an HVAC professional conduct an annual heating system inspection at the start of each heating season, you can also prepare your home for winter by replacing furnace filters. Clogged filters can prevent heated air from flowing through your vents efficiently, which means some rooms may be chillier than others.
Replacing furnace filters also helps allergy sufferers. Pet dander, dust, mold, and other allergens build up on your filters, contaminating the air as it circulates throughout your house. Consider replacing furnace filters every two months or so, or more frequently if you or a family member suffers from severe allergies.
5. Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the most common issues homeowners face during the winter. While a frozen pipe isn’t necessarily a threat, it can become a serious issue if the pipe bursts and causes water damage. Water damage can weaken the structural integrity of your home and encourage mold growth.
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent frozen pipes in the winter:
- Set your thermostat no lower than 60 degrees
- Detach your garden hose and cover outdoor spigots with an insulating dome
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to help warm air circulate around the plumbing
- Allow water to drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes on chilly nights
Get Your Home Winter-Weather Ready with CroppMetcalfe
When it comes to preparing your home for winter, some homeowners don’t know where to start. If you follow our pre-winter home checklist, you’ll be able to stay safe and warm throughout the season. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to set up a service appointment for pest control or your HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems.