It is official, the cold weather is finally here which means it is time to winterize your home in order to protect it for the next few chilly months to come. These few preventive measures will go a long way in saving you money on your energy bills, keeping your home warm, and ensuring that your property is safe.

1. Clean your gutters and downspouts

If your gutters have not been cleaned before winter, the water will not drain and will therefore freeze, which in turn will cause more blockage in your gutters. This can cause serious problems as the melting ice and snow can then make its way into your roof, or your foundation, making for some pricey and time-consuming repairs that can be avoided.

Photo courtesy of Vue Window Cleaning

2. Have your roof evaluated

While you or a hired professional are cleaning the gutters, be sure to have your roof checked for any potential repairs that need to be done. Make sure that your roof does not have any missing or damaged shingles, and if it does, look to get them replaced as soon as possible. It is important to pay attention to the projections of the roof as this tends to be the site of leaks.

3. Invest in weather stripping for your windows and doors

Weather stripping can be found at just about any hardware store and an affordable price and is an effective way to keep the cold air out of your home. It is relatively easy to install and works to prevents air leaks coming from your doors and windows. An easy way to reduce your monthly heating bill.

4. Replace screen doors with storm doors

All screen doors and window screens should be replaced with storm doors and windows in an effort to reduce your heating bills. This little step can go a long way.

5. If you have a wood burning fireplace, have the chimney inspected by a professional

After months of ignoring your fireplace, it is important to have a professional look at its condition and to check for any animal nests. The chimney tends to be a common source of leaks and other problems, so it is imperative that it get serviced before its first use.

Photo courtesy of Mendota Hearth 

6. Have your heating system serviced by a professional

After months turned off, it is important that you have someone out to investigate your system in order to avoid a serious problem that leaves you without heat in the dead of winter.

7. Clean or replace your furnace filter

You can either have your heating system technician do this for you when they arrive for your seasonal maintenance, or you can do this yourself. Changing the filters just ensures that you are breathing clean air in your home.

8. Protect pipes from freezing

A burst pipe due to cold weather can be one of the most costly home repairs, but you need not worry, it can be avoided as long as you protect your pipes. During extremely cold weather, allow for your faucets to ever-so-lightly drip as this will allow much needed relief for your pipes. Cover up any holes in your walls in order to keep the cold air away from your pipes. When away on vacation or out of the house for an extended period of time, do not turn down your thermostat too much as your pipes need this warmth to keep from freezing.

9. Stock up on winter essentials

Things like salt, antifreeze, shovels etc. are important to have on hand during a snowfall, so be sure to stock up on these items. If you own a snowblower, take it in to get serviced as it is likely that it will not run properly after months of non use. Be prepared as you do not want to be stuck without these essentials!

Photo courtesy of Husqvarna

With a little bit of preparation, you’ll be less likely to have unexpected emergencies pop up this winter and more likely to enjoy the season. If anything does pop up, however, there’s a trusted home service professional waiting to help at HomeStars!

Posted by Connor Cherrie