Follow this checklist to make sure your home is secured against the winter elements. Always consider hiring qualified professionals for items that may be out of your scope of expertise.
- Heating system: Check your heater well before winter is in full force. Follow seasonal maintenance in the owner’s manual, change the air filter, and have a licensed HVAC clean and service the system. Set your programmable thermostat to be as efficient as possible and maintain a moderate temperature inside your home.
- Cooling system: Hose down fan blades and condenser coils on the outside unit before disconnecting your hoses. Cover the unit with a securely wrapped tarp to prevent debris and rust. It is also a good idea to remove and store any window units.
- Chimney/Fireplace: Clear the chimney of debris and ensure flue damper opens properly. Have a professional clean chimneys and stovepipes. If necessary, have a professional repair cracks in brick or mortar immediately. A working fireplace makes for cozy nights at home throughout the wintertime.
- Piping: Insulate all exposed piping and exterior hose bibs and faucets. Especially on cold nights, consider leaving faucets on a very slow drip and opening cabinets and vanities to prevent pipes freezing as much as possible.
- Windows: Ensure all windows are closed and locked properly, and evaluate if caulking is needed to seal up drafty windows.
- Doors: Check all weather stripping and reinstall new if it appears worn. This will help reduce any drafts on windy days.
- Roof: Have a qualified professional replace missing or damaged shingles. Check flashing around chimneys and other roof projections. Make sure to clean gutters and downspouts.
- Sprinkler system: Have a qualified professional purge all lines of water with an air compressor to prevent freezing and bursting. Turn the system off for the season.
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