Fall Checklist to Prepare For Winter
As colder weather approaches, the fall is a great time to start thinking about your home maintenance. Raking leaves is just one of the many things you can do to prepare for the winter, save energy and money. Read on for 14 ways to get ready for the winter that will help keep your home safe and comfortable during the chilly months.
- Turn off the water supply to your exterior faucets, making sure to drain any water from the pipes to protect against bursts. Don’t forget to drain your garden hoses and store them inside.
- Remove all window air conditioners, or cover them with insulated liners to prevent drafts.
- Make sure all ceiling fans are switched to the reverse or clockwise position. This will blow warm air down.
- Weatherize your lawn mower before storing it away for the winter by cleaning off the blades, emptying the gas tank and changing the oil.
- Make sure all gutters and downspouts are clean, with no leaves or debris clogging them.
- Trim overgrown branches away from the house to prevent snow and ice laden branches from causing property damage.
- Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles and replace them as necessary to prevent leaks.
- Prepare your snow and ice removal tools so you’re ready for the first snowfall, whether you use shovels, snow blowers and/or ice melt. Change the oil in your snow blower, replace the spark plug and make sure you have gas.
- Replace screen doors with storm doors. Check for drafts around windows and door frames. Caulk inside and out or replace weather stripping as necessary to prevent heat from escaping. Inspect windows for cracks or broken glass and repair or replace as needed.
- Install foam-insulating gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce drafts.
- Arrange for an annual tune-up of your heating system if you haven’t had one since last heating season. This ensures your system is running efficiently and ready to take on another cold season.
- Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed them, now would be a good time for new batteries. Dust and test all detectors and check fire extinguishers.
- Inspect outdoor lighting around your property and replace any burned-out light bulbs. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
- Adjust your programmable thermostat if needed so your heating system is ready to go when the cold weather sets in. Most programmable thermostats run on batteries – be sure to check them if your thermostat won’t turn on.