Hate it or love it, the cold weather is headed our way sooner rather than later, which means it’s time to winterize your home! Winterizing can seem like a daunting task, but it is a necessary inconvenience to keep your household running smoothly. Breaking down everything that needs to be done can also help get things done in a timely fashion. Below is a breakdown of some of the common steps to successfully prepare your home.
The formation of ice dams in your gutters can turn into an expensive repair. Making sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris helps prevent ice dams from forming. Also, making sure the attic floor is properly insulated can be a helping factor in preventing ice dams. Attics should be well ventilated and stay about 10 degrees warmer than outside.
It’s important to pay attention to trees with dead branches. In winter month ice, snow, and wind can weaken trees and dead branches falling could be potentially dangerous to you, anyone you could have in your home, your car, and even your home itself.
House the Hose
Remove all attached garden hoses, drain them, and store them. All exterior faucets should also be turned off, and it’s also a good idea to protect your faucets with cold-weather covers.
Protecting the Pipes
Exposed pipes, or other pipes at risk of freezing should be insulated to prevent problems. Another countermeasure to ensure pipes from from freezing is to keep your home at at least 62-65 degrees whether you’re home or not. If you’re planning on being away during the cold months, it would be a good idea to leave at lease one sink running very slowly. Continual water flow in the pipes also helps prevent freezing.
It’s also important to know where the valve to turn off your water is in case your pipes do freeze. Frozen pipes are much more likely to burst, knowing how to immediately turning the valve off could help prevent costly damage.
Test your furnace to make sure it runs properly before the cold weather hits and you’re stuck freezing in your home! Also be sure to check and, if necessary, change/clean your furnace filter. Staying on top of your furnace filter status can help your furnace run much more smoothly.
Switching your fan so it turns clockwise allows the fan to push down the warm air that rises to the ceiling. This is especially helpful if your home has tall ceilings. If your fan is currently turning counter-clockwise, there should be a switch on the fan that will change the direction of rotation.
Before winter hits, check the batteries in all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In the winter months residential fires are much more common than any other of the year. It is important to protect yourself from both fires and toxic gas in your home.
Please take care to keep all walkways, driveways, and sidewalk clear of ice and snow. It is also important to keep leaves and other debris cleared as they become a slippery hazard quickly. If any steps or handrail need replaced, now is the time to do so.
Store Seasonal Items
Don’t forget to bring in your patio furniture, flower pots, and hoses to store safely for the winter. If not stored there’s a good change they get blown away or damaged during a storm.
Remove or Cover AC Units
For those who use a removable window AC unit, now is the time to start thinking about taking it out for the coming months. If the unit is removable please do so and put it in storage rather than trying to cover it for the winter months. Leaving your unit in the window could actually damage your system and put unnecessary pressure on your window frame. If you have a wall unit be sure to drain the unit first, then cover it. If the unit does not get covered it could potentially be damaged as well as let cold air into your home.
Here in Wyoming we’re all familiar with severe weather, don’t forget have an emergency kit ready in your home. Especially for winter. Important items to include: a flashlight, a space heater and some extra blankets, and a case of bottled waters.