Winterizing Your Home

December 20, 2016

With temperatures beginning to drop and the Holidays getting closer, you’ve probably already switched the heat on and pulled your winter coat out of storage. Making sure your home is prepared for winter is a good way to keep energy costs low and help prevent costly repairs. Tropicana Homes put together a checklist to help you get your home ready for winter.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace, it will improve the air quality and maximize the efficiency.
  • Check all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in working order.
  • Program the thermostat to save on energy costs.
  • Switch ceiling fans to reverse/clockwise position, which will blow the warm air down to the floor.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic or crawl space and plug any leaks with sealant.
  • Flush hot water tanks to remove sediment and check the pressure relief valve to ensure it’s functioning properly.

Lawn, Garden and Deck/Balcony

  • Trim branches that interfere with electrical wires or are too close to the home, it will prevent iced-over or wind-blown branches from causing power outages or damage to the home.
  • Ensure rain and snow drain away from the home to avoid foundation issues. The dirt grade should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas as necessary.
  • Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and shut off exterior faucets, outdoor pipes, valves and sprinkler heads to avoid pipe bursts.
  • Inspect deck or balcony for splintering and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.

Windows, Doors and Exterior

  • Check the weather-stripping around all windows and doors to locate leaks, replace if necessary to prevent heat loss.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors, caulk inside and out if necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Examine window frames and exterior wood, stucco and mortar for signs of deterioration. Repair as necessary to maintain integrity and appearance.
  • Inspect windows for cracks and gaps, replace as needed.

Roofs and Drains

  • Check for missing or damaged shingles and replace as necessary.
  • Reseal all seals around pipes, skylights and penetrations in your roof.
  • Ensure all vents, eaves and openings are covered to prevent unwanted creatures from attempting to nest in a warm place.
  • Clean leaves and debris from any exterior drains to prevent blockages.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.

This list isn’t exhaustive and your home may have special features that need additional attention, but this will get you started on preparing your home for winter. Periodic checks will help you identify areas that need attention and help prevent costly repairs or emergency maintenance.

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