Making Sure Your Home Is Ready for the Winter

Credit: Kara Masterson

It is important to have your home ready to withstand the cold before winter arrives. This means ensuring areas around your house like the pipes are insulated, your gutters are clean, and your heating system is working.

Service Your HVAC

The ability to heat your home will make the cold winters more bearable. Your heater will be less likely to fail on you when you need it the most if it is serviced before the winter arrives and you’re not left shivering while you wait to get it fixed. Your HVAC contractor will make sure that all of the components of the system are working properly. They will also perform basic maintenance, such as an air filter change.

Insulate the Pipes

Your pipes are prone to freezing any time the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Your pipes freezing means there’s a potential for them to burst, especially if you try to heat them back up too quickly. Insulating the pipes beforehand can prevent this, and save you the worry or hassle of figuring out what to do next. The most important ones for you to insulate are the ones that are in the crawl space, basement, or any area that does not receive a lot of heat.

Clean the Gutters

Clogged gutters have the potential to trap water and lead to ice damns. This can break your gutters and lead to damage for the rest of your house, such as the walls and roof. Before winter falls, either you or a professional should clean out your gutters and then keep an eye on them throughout the season.

Seal the Furnace Ducts

The furnace ducts can waste anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of the heated air that they transport. If your ducts are leaking, then your house won’t be able to heat adequately and you will never be able to get as comfortable as you want to be. Your energy bills can also increase due to the wasted heating.

You can prevent this by sealing the furnace ducts. You will not be able to seal all of the ducts because many of them are in places that you cannot reach, such as the ceilings, floors, and walls. However, you can seal the ones that are in the crawl space, garage, and basement. Talk to a contractor before you decide to seal the ducts. You may need to get a combustion safety test done first.

You should have your home prepared for the winter several weeks before the cold weather arrives. You can prepare for the winter by making sure that your HVAC system is working properly. You should also clean the gutters and seal the duct leaks. Additionally, you should make sure that your pipes are insulated to prevent them from freezing.