17 Things That You Should Do for Your Home Every Winter
With frosty temps, ice, and snow, our homes stand to take a beating around this time of year. To help keep your house safe and cozy, we’ve rounded up a checklist of care necessities and decorative swaps that will take a little of the chill out of winter.
- Call your gas & electric provider to schedule a winterizing check— have your furnace checked, and air ducts and vents cleaned, cleared, and opened. This will not only increase efficiency, but to cut down on dust-related allergies.
- If it has been several years since you had your fireplace chimney cleaned, you should have it done by a professional chimney sweep service. Otherwise, ensure that the chimney is clear of debris and that it’s drawing up fire and smoke properly.
- Check your flue’s damper operation. Make sure it opens and closes fully, and that it can be locked in the open and closed position.
- Put together a cold-weather emergency kit consisting of flashlights, candles, batteries, blankets, bottled water, and nonperishable foods.
- Tend to dead trees or overhanging branches. Freezing temps could make them a real threat.
- If you have a window air conditioning unit in your home, either remove it for the season, or purchase an air conditioning cover so that air does not enter or escape.
- Make sure patio furniture is covered.
- Consider swapping your bed’s cotton sheets for cozier, flannel ones.
- If youre still using a light weight comforter, we suggest you give into the temptation of cloudlike down, instead.
- Hang curtains in a darker color and heavier fabric than you might in summer/spring months. They'll act as decorative insulation!
- Reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate warm air that gathers near the ceiling. When the fan blades rotate clockwise, they push the warm air down to “reheat” the lower areas.
- Mount (or change the batteries in) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Heating appliances may emit (odorless) carbon monoxide and other harmful fumes.
- Hardwood and tile floors can get mighty chilly and cause you to overdo it pumping the heat. Lay out a seasonal area rug and you’ll warm the space right up.
- Cut down on cold drafts and loss of heat by weather-stripping places where warm air seems to be escaping, and cold air is coming in. Find the leaks by holding a candle or incense near the edges of a window frame. If the flame flickers or goes out, you have a leak. Install a door sweep, use inexpensive rope caulking to plug air leaks, and/or purchase a DIY window insulation kit at Home Depot.
- Do a roof check: Have loose shingles replaced or repaired as heat can be lost this way. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean. Wet leaves add significant weight and volume to the gutter when frozen and increase the risk of damage.
- If you have exposed water or drain piping in chilly spaces such as crawlspace, an attic, etc., make sure to insulate them with foam insulation at a minimum.
Did we miss anything? Share your best advice for winterizing your home below!