As a homeowner it is always good to take the time to make sure your home is in tip-top shape, your appliances are properly working and you are prepared for summer heat or winter rain.
With autumn right around the corner and winter not too far away, it is time to make sure you’re on top of things and take the necessary steps to winterize your home. If last year was any judge, this winter will likely be another wet one. You can never be too prepared!
Below, we provide the first steps you can take to winterize your home. If you need help with any of these to-do list items, please feel free to contact us for these management services and more.
Steps to Take to Winterize Your Home
Step 1: Clean out the rain gutters.
This is an important step to take to avoid costly damages to your home, especially in Northern California. If gutters become clogged with leaves or debris, they can easily overflow and damage the roof or walls behind the gutters.
Step 2: Check for exterior cracks.
Take a walk around your home and look for damage, including exterior cracks. Some exterior cracks can be mended with caulk, but it’s always a good idea to consult a handyman or general contractor when making significant home repairs.
Step 3: Buy a programmable thermostat.
Older homes may have an outdated and energy-hungry thermostat. Although this may cost more initially, a digital or smart thermostat can pay off year round! When you are able to program and set the temperature, you do not need to have it running all day while you’re away at work. Or, you can have the heat turn on an hour before arriving home.
Step 4: Add insulation.
Insulation will make a huge difference in keeping your home warm during the cool, winter months! You should consider insulating walls, basement ceilings, as well as adding extra attic insulation. By keeping the warm air in and the cool air out, you will save more throughout the winter.
Step 5: Install door barriers.
Whether installing an actual door barrier or rolling up a towel and placing it at the bottom of exterior doors, door barriers can prevent cool air from coming in the home. Therefore, your heating costs will be lower.
Step 6: Check on the window seals.
Broken window seals are common in older homes, but no matter your home’s age it’s important to check for leaks or cracked seals. Look carefully for rotten wood or broken seals, because this can allow cool air or rain into your home.
Step 7: Check for any water damage and leaks.
Water damage in any building is costly and time-consuming to repair, so checking for leaks before the rainy season even starts and having any potential issues fixed immediately is beyond beneficial. Leaky pipes or a bad roof seal can lead to dangerous mold, impact structural integrity and detract from the home’s value. Learn more about how to prevent water damage on our previous blog post!
Step 8: Replace air filters.
You should regularly replace the air filters in your home to lessen the workload on your HVAC unit plus reduce your monthly utility bill. This also improves the air quality and helps with seasonal allergies!
If you have a second home or a vacation rental that will be primarily vacant during the winter season, you should also do these following steps to winterize your home…
Step 9: Adjust the thermostat.
Save money and lower the thermostat! Because you will not be there, there is no need to keep it heated at a comfortable temperature. Instead, set the thermostat at around 55-60 degrees to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Step 10: Secure the house.
If the home is in an area prone to extreme winter storm it is beneficial to secure it as best you can. You can do this by installing storm windows, securing all entrances and moving all outdoor furniture inside for the season.
Step 11: Turn off the water.
The last thing you would want to be faced with is a flooded home due to a leaky or burst pipe. You should turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in your home. It is also recommended if you live in a climate prone to freezing to open up all of your faucets and drain the toilets of water to prevent bursting from occurring as the water expands with changing temperatures. Additionally, if your home has a basement and sump pump, you should make sure this is functioning properly to avoid leaks and damage to the lower levels.
Step 12: Turn off the gas line.
This is to prevent a gas leak or other gas-related incident that can be costly, damaging and dangerous.
Step 13: Close the damper or flue on the fireplace.
By doing this you will help prevent rain, snow or even animals from coming into your home.
Step 14: Clean the home thoroughly.
Dust, disinfect, wipe down surfaces, wash linens, vacuum and clean out the fridge and pantry of all perishable items.
Step 15: Unplug all appliances and electronics.
Besides saving money as your unused appliances will not be using phantom energy, doing this will protect the house from shortages, energy surges and even fire.
Step 16: Turn on the security alarm.
Ensure that the security alarm is working and engaged when winterizing your home and leaving it for the season. Double check that all doors are also locked and bring all valuables with you.
By following these steps to take to winterize your home you can save money, prevent damage, and reduce unnecessary utility bills. It’s a lot to do, so don’t hesitate to contact Aborn Powers today, so we can help you winterize your home before the season starts!