Fall leaves means pumpkin carving, scarves, cool breezes, apple cider and more, but it also means that winter is coming. Fall is here now and before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. To prepare your home for the cold, there are a few preparations to put into action now so that you will not be rushing around during the busy season to get it done. Winters in Wisconsin are harsh. This means that the temperature can have a huge effect on your home. Maintenance is key to keeping your investment healthy. Here are five tips to start thinking about for the change of the season.
Secure exterior parts of your home. Blizzards and strong winds are not unusual once winter hits so it is important to make sure that anything outside is secure like siding and shutters. It is a good idea to put away hoses and outdoor furniture to prolong its value. Trimming tree branches is not just a chore for the summer months. Any branch that hangs over your roof or driveway is a risk especially in the winter with not only blizzards but also icicles that build up.
Weather-strip and weather proof your windows. This will save you money on your heating bill because it can keep 70% of the heat from leaving your home. If you are worried about visual appeal (even though if done neatly, it shouldn’t be noticeable), find thin curtains to add to your window fixtures. They will still let in natural light, cover up the plastic, and also add to the coziness of your home. Have a caulk gun ready if you notice any cracks both inside and outside. The better your home is air sealed, the more you will save and the more moisture you will keep out.
Inspect your furnace. It is important to clean and check-up on your furnace before winter. Noticing any problems before you need it is key to eliminating potential problems during the months that you need your furnace the most. Furnaces can be a fire-hazard if dirt builds up.
Attend to the Gutters. You may think that this is a spring task when the snow starts melting but actually it is a good idea to do before snowfall. Leaving leaves and blockage in your gutters over the winter will make it difficult for the snow that does melt on sunny days to drain especially with ice buildup. When gutters get clogged it could mean water in your house. It is always good to see if there are any misalignments as well during cleaning to be ready for amount of melting that happens in the Spring.
Insulate the pipes. In order to avoid bursting or freezing which could lead to water damage or mold, wrap your pipes in insulation especially in unheated and exposed areas. Your house should always be heated when you are away traveling to above freezing to protect the interior pipes. Completely shut off the water supply to outdoor water systems and make sure that they are drained. Additionally, cover the outdoor parts of your air conditioner.
Change direction of fans. Ceiling fans can be help in the winter if you change the direction to clockwise. This will push the hot air that rises towards the floor.
It is never too early to get a head start! Start purchasing supplies so they are ready when the first temperature drop arrives. Get outside and do the exterior preparation now so you do not have to bundle up and do it with snow on the ground. Whether this is your first time winterizing your home, or your yearly routine, make sure you and your family stays warm this winter.