The Ultimate Checklist for Winterizing Your Home
With winter quickly approaching, it’s time to winterize your home. Refer to our ultimate checklist to warm up your home, lower your energy bill and prevent pipes from freezing (or worse, bursting!)
- Inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney. (Stock up on firewood while you’re at it!)
- Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and examine fire extinguishers (Allstate has a great guide.)
- Adjust ceiling fan direction to clockwise and lowest speed to pull cool air up displacing the warm air that collects near the ceiling down. This is especially important if you have high ceilings.
- Adjust any programmable thermostats for winter.
- Replace furnace and air conditioning filters if needed.
- Clean laundry machine ducts and dryer vents.
- Switch out linens and duvets for heavier winter bedding and properly clean and store summer ones.
- Seal drafty windows, exterior doors and electrical outlets. For doors, install door sweeps and use weather stripping between door and side jams. For double-hung windows, add weather stripping along the top edge of the upper sash and make sure they’re locked to seal the gap between the meeting rail stopping air from coming through. Fill any big gaps, common with older windows, with temporary caulking like backer rod. Seal electrical outlets and switch plates with insulating seals like Duck Brand Socket Sealers.
- Have the heating system and hot water heater inspected and serviced. Make sure the hot water heater is set to the right temperature, especially important if you have young ones in your home.
- Insulate any exposed pipes with foam insulation to prevent water from freezing and bursting your pipes. Pipes in the basement, attic, garage and exterior of home are particularly vulnerable. And don’t neglect corners that are ripe for freezing! Miter foam insulation to make sure no part of the pipe is exposed.
- Inspect critical appliances (refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, washer/dryer)
- Caulk any cracks around the outside of your windows and doors.
- Inspect roof and repair loose shingles.
- Inspect tree branches – remove any growing over your house, garage, driveway or power lines and dead limbs/trees.
- If your home has a crawl space, cover foundation vents to prevent cold air from freezing pipes. (But make sure to uncover them come spring to keep the area as dry as possible.)
- Clean your windows before it gets too cold (water evaporates too quickly in the summer leaving streaks, and freezes in the winter.)
- After deciduous trees lose their leaves, clean your gutters. Use a leaf blower to clear pathways and chop them up with a mower and then pressure wash your patio and driveway.
- Cut back perennials and mulch flower beds.
- Clean and store mowers and trimmers, outdoor furniture, hammocks and grills (or propane tanks if not movable) for the winter. Cover anything immobile with weatherproof covers.
- Disconnect garden hoses and sprinklers.
- Buy ice melt and a snow shovel if it’s looking like it will be a harsh winter. (While you’re at it, make sure there is an ice scrapper and gloves in your car glove box!)
If we can offer up any further advice, give us a call at (615) 292-7354 or email us at email@example.com.