Home Winterization Checklist
Here are a few quick chores to get your home winterized before the snow sticks!
Winter in Minnesota brings subzero temperatures and harsh conditions that can affect your home, your comfort and your energy bill. Take these steps to properly prepare for the upcoming season and ensure the best possible starting point to take on the challenge of the winter wonderland.
Drain and store your hoses
Freezing water inside your hoses can damage the hose and cause the water that goes into your home to freeze, resulting in burst pipes. Lift up one end of the hose and work your way to the other end to allow the water to flow downward and out the hose.
Drain your hose bibbs
Freezing pipes can cause serious damage to the home. Drain your hose bibbs by shutting off the water to the faucet and opening the hose bibb.
Turn off your sprinkler system and have it blown out
Set up your appointment with your local irrigation company to winterize your lawn system to prevent costly repairs in the spring
Clean out the gutters and put on downspout extensions
Clean flowing gutters will help stop the build up of ice that can damage your gutters and roofing materials. Adding downspout extensions will direct water away from the foundation. Use an extension that is rigid metal and extends at least 5-6 feet away.
Clean and seal cracks in driveways and sidewalks
When water works down into the cracks and then freezes it breaks the surface from the inside out. Clean and seal the cracks prior to the freeze.
Improve Home Heating Efficiency
Check the Attic
Going in the attic in the dead of summer is no fun and dangerous. Use the milder temperatures to check your attic insulation levels, make sure that all the exhaust connections are secure and repair any air leaks that may bleed hot air into the attic during the winter.
Seal air leaks around windows, doors and any wall penetrations
Save up to 20% on your heating bill by making sure that warm air is not escaping through cracks and openings. Use a tube of color matched caulk to seal around doors, windows and any wall penetrations in the home.
Check the weather seals
Weather seals have a limited life span and become brittle and fail. Check and replace these seals to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Reverse the ceiling fan spin
Reversing the ceiling fan direction is quick, easy and helps to bring the warm air back down to you to help make you more comfortable. Just flip the little switch on the side of the fan or on the remote
Ready the Heating Elements
Change your furnace filter
Filters should be changed every 3 months but the fall is the most important time to make sure the furnace is getting adequate flow and you are breathing the cleanest air possible.
Clean the fresh air intake
The furnace and water heater require fresh outside air to work properly and not backdraft harmful gases into the house. Use an old toothbrush to clean the outside of the fresh air intake of the home.
Turn on your humidifier
Humidifiers help to keep the warm air comfortable in the winter. Turn on the humidifier to your desired setting and open the damper on the furnace to activate it for the season.
Program your thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat now is a good time to make sure it is set to make you the most comfortable throughout the day and night
Have furnace serviced
Regular maintenance helps to make your expensive appliances run the best and longest. Have an HVAC technician come and tune your furnace every year to ensure its best function.
Have wood burning chimney cleaned
Wood burning fireplace chimneys should be cleaned every 50-70 burns to prevent housefires. Fires in the home are only beautiful if they are properly contained
Check the age and the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke and CO detectors expire after 7-10 years and become ineffective at warning you of danger. Check out our recent post all about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for more information!
Make fire escape plan
Getting out of the house quickly is the best way to keep the family safe during a fire event. Make sure that everyone knows how to escape safely and if you are the second floor, have a expandable ladder on hand in every room.
You’ve got this!
Winter is coming – cold temperatures with freezing conditions bring unique challenges to those of us who live in the Bold North. Take the appropriate steps to winterize your home while the weather is still somewhat warm, and you’ll be able to enjoy a safe and comfortable winter season.