How to Prepare Your House for Winter Weather
The winter weather can do all sorts of damage to a house if it hasn’t been adequately prepared. Fortunately, there are some things that homeowners can do to ensure that their house can withstand the chilly months. Here’s how to prepare your house for winter weather.
Make Sure Your Heat Turns On
Because most people don’t use their heat once it starts to warm up outside, they may not notice that there’s some sort of issue with it until they try to turn it on during the winter. This is why it’s a good idea to test your heat before the temperatures start to dip outside. Make sure it turns on, and let it run for a few minutes so that you can determine if it’s working properly. If it isn’t, you should call HVAC technicians as soon as possible so that they can figure out what the issue is. You don’t want to be stuck with a chilly house simply because you forgot to make sure that your heat was working properly.
Remove Leaves From Your Gutters
It’s not uncommon for all of those leaves that fall off of your trees in the fall to end up in your gutters. Unfortunately, this can cause a blockage that keeps rain and melted snow from being able to flow freely through your gutters and away from your home. Once the trees are done shedding their leaves, you should check your gutters to make sure that there aren’t any leaves in them that you need to remove.
Paint Your Exterior Doors and Trim
Your exterior doors and trim take a beating when it snows. Unfortunately, this can cause them to rot. If you don’t want to have to deal with having to replace your doors and trim, you should repaint them before the winter gets here. The paint will act as a barrier between the them and the elements, and it may prevent them from rotting no matter how wet they get.
Seal Your Driveway
A lot of homeowners don’t realize that they need to seal their driveway in order to protect it. Just because it’s made out of asphalt or concrete, it doesn’t mean that it can withstand the winter weather. If you don’t seal it, it can develop cracks, and eventually it will need to be replaced. By sealing it, you may be able avoid having to have your whole driveway replaced once it starts to warm up.
Test Your Smoke Alarms
Fires are very common in the winter months. Things like space heaters and fireplaces can easily start a fire if you aren’t careful. You may be able to minimize the damage if you have working smoke alarms. They can alert you to smoke in your house before a full-blown fire starts. This is a great time to test your smoke alarms. If it’s been a while since you changed your batteries, you should go ahead and replace them as well.
Stock up on Firewood
It can be difficult to find firewood in the winter. This is because so many people are in need of it, and there’s often a limited supply. If you don’t think you’ll have enough firewood to get your through the winter, you should start stocking up on it now. Just make sure you store it in a dry place so that it doesn’t get wet. If it does, then you may have a difficult time trying to light it.
Drain Your Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers
With so much preparation to do before the winter, you may end up forgetting to drain your outdoor faucets. Unfortunately, this can cause the lines to burst and leave you with an expensive repair. You will need to shut off the valve to the water spigot, and then open up the spigot valve on the exterior of your home so that you can let as much of the water drain out as you can. If there are a few drops left, that’s okay as there will be plenty of room for this leftover water to expand in the lines without breaking them. You need to blow out your sprinkler system as well. This can be a very tedious task, and it’s best to leave it up to the professionals to take care of this for you. It’s well worth the money as replacing broken sprinkler lines can be very expensive.
Reverse the Direction of Each of Your Ceiling Fans So They Turn Clockwise
Your heater can have an easier time keeping your house warm if you reverse the direction of each of your ceiling fans so that they run clockwise. This will allow the fans to push down all of the warm air that may have accumulated near the ceiling. Most fans have a switch on the side of them that will allow you to change the direction of the blades.
Look for Missing or Loose Shingles on the Roof
No matter how new your roof is, you may have loose or missing shingles. This often occurs when there’s inclement weather. You need to make sure that all of your shingles are securely attached to your roof to avoid expensive roof damage during the wet winter. You can easily look for damage by climbing up on a ladder and inspecting the roof. You shouldn’t have to even climb up on the roof to spot any issues. If you don’t have a ladder, you can always use a pair of high-powered binoculars to scan your roof. If you notice things like pine needs or leaves, you should use a blower to blow them off or have someone do it for you. This will keep the shingles under them from rotting.
Winterize Your Mower
It will probably be a long time until you need to use your mower again. Because of this, you need to winterize it so that you can ensure that it will start right up when the spring gets here. You should start by using the hose to squirt it off. Make sure there’s no grass or leaves that have accumulated near the blades. As far as the fuel goes, you have a couple of options. You can leave the mower on to run out all of the fuel that’s in the gas tank. If you don’t want to do this because there’s a lot of fuel in it, you can add a stabilizer to the tank. Just make sure you turn the mower on for a few minutes so that the stabilizer can circulate through all of the fuel. Once you are finished, you need to store your mower in a place where it won’t get wet.
If you need to have your HVAC system repaired or maintained this winter or throughout the rest of the year, Hoff Heating & AC in O’Fallon can help you. We provide comprehensive heating and cooling services. Gives us a call today to find out about all of the different services that we have to offer.