As summer comes to an end, we Minnesotans know what’s ahead: cold weather. And with it comes all sorts of challenges, which is why it’s crucial to prep your home for winter weather before it arrives!
No matter where you live, it’s important to be mindful of seasonal changes and how they affect your home. By taking precautionary steps, you can set yourself up for success and prevent potential emergency calls due to the cold weather’s harsh effects. We’re sharing the steps we take to prep our home for cold weather below!
Exterior Home Maintenance to do Before Winter
- Winterize outdoor spigots & put hoses away. Don’t skip out on disconnecting any hoses and draining the faucets! If you do, you’re leaving your water lines susceptible to the cold weather’s harsh effects. The water could potentially freeze and burst, requiring an expensive repair.
- Blow out your sprinkler system. It’s critical to blow out your sprinklers to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes and system components, which could cause cracks or damage when the water freezes and expands.
- Clean your gutters. Making sure your gutters are free of all debris and clogs before winter hits should be a top priority. If your gutters are clogged during the colder seasons, it can prevent water from getting to the downspout, or it can trap water, which again, can cause damage if it freezes and expands. Plus it’s a good habit to clean them out on a semi-regular basis anyways.
- Patch holes, leaks & schedule roof inspection. A roof inspection helps you prepare for winter by locating any potential problems with your roof. This will allow you to fix minor issues and avoid larger, more expensive problems later.
- Clean & cover your air conditioner. Your air conditioner likely gathered a lot of dust and debris while it was running over the summer, so it’s a good idea to hose it off to clean it out. Before you do this though, make sure you check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the best way to clean it. Once it is cleaned, cover the unit to prevent ice and snow buildup. Pro tip: Choose a cover that only covers the top of the unit, not the sides.
Interior Home Maintenance to do Before Winter
- Get your furnace serviced & filters changed. We highly recommend having your furnace checked every year in preparation for cold weather, or, at the very least, turn it on and make sure everything is working properly. It’s easy to run into unnecessary repair needs, breakdowns, and even smaller operational issues without annual maintenance, and it’s better to find out about any issues before it’s -10 degrees and you really need that heat. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to change your furnace filters!
- Clean your air intake vents. Dust, dander, bacteria, and household chemicals can build up in your HVAC systems during the cold weather when you’re indoors. Clear and functioning air intake vents prevent that buildup and ensure your air is clean and healthy, so make sure you are cleaning them out to keep them working properly.
- Clean wood burning fireplace flues. Fireplaces are a leading cause of house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Creosote can build up and easily cause house fires, and even a small amount of creosote can do a lot of damage. This can be avoided by having your fireplace flues cleaned annually.
Although winter can be daunting, you don’t have to allow it to wreak havoc on your home. Follow our eight to-dos from above to ensure that your home stays safe and warm this winter.
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