Winter is coming and it’s never too early to start prepping your home to beat the cold. Take a look at some simple steps to get your home ready for the winter season that I learned from my parents as they took precautions against the cold Western Pennsylvania winters every year.
It’s always a good idea to keep your gutters clean, but with fall leaves finding their final resting places in most gutters, you’ll want to take extra care before a snow fall. Leaves and other debris can weigh your gutters down and snow will just had to the pressure. It’s not uncommon to have a dirty gutter collapse under snow.
Clean those ducts! There is a large number of homeowners that do not take the time to maintain their air ducts. This could make a huge difference in safety and heating. Dust clumps and sticks to the inside of air ducts, even ones that frequently run all year round. When you finally turn the heat on for winter, you may notice a burning smell, which happens from the heater burning some dust inside the ducts. Not only is it a severe safety hazard, but it can be a major inconvenience, especially to anyone with breathing complications.
If you have a chimney, definitely take the time or make the investment to clean it. A dirty chimney can result in a fire hazard as there may be debris stuck inside. You’ll also want to make sure that the chute properly opens and closes, so when it’s not in use, you can avoid the added airflow.
The most common way to winterize your windows is by placing window shrink film on the glass. This will allow you to stick the film to the glass that will help block some of the heat from escaping your home and some of the cold air from entering by thickening your window barriers. The easiest way to accomplish this is by purchasing a kit. Kits can be found in most stores for as low as $10.
You’ll also want to check for gaps around the window frame. Unfortunately, the tiniest of gaps can cause a major change in temperature during the winter season. With most interior gaps, a bit of drywall putty or even caulking that can be used for exterior gaps will do the trick.
Most exterior doors will have some padding around the edges to keep cold air from seeping in around the door, but it’s a good idea to keep a draft blocker or pillow around as they are easy to use and will protect against potential air flow occurring underneath your doors.