The year’s coldest season is just around the corner, here’s a list of what needs to be done to get your home ready for winter. Autumn is officially here, which means winter is quickly approaching. It’s up to you whether you want to be the lazy grasshopper or the prepared ant (for you sadly deprived souls who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story). Sure, chances are you don’t need to gather food to survive the season of starvation and hibernation, but there are some things that should be done to get your home ready for winter.
1. Plant your bulbs. And not just your flowers, garlic needs to go in the ground in the Fall as well.
2. Check the roof’s shingles for holes, rips, rot, or possible leaks.
3. Mow the grass one last time and then winterize and put the lawn mower in storage.
4. Check your gutters/downspouts and clean them out if necessary.
5. Drain and pack up the garden hose.
6. Turn off outdoor taps (faucets) to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
7. Put away lawn ornaments.
8. Put deck furniture and other summer items in storage.
9. Have the chimney cleaned.
10. Ensure your outdoor steps are slip-resistant and if need be, apply a coat of slip-resistant paint or other material.
11. Trim or cut down any large tree branches.
12. Get your septic tank pumped while the ground is still workable and not frozen (nothing’s worse than having to chisel it out mid-February because the crapper won’t flush!).
13. If you’re one of those people who leave their Christmas lights attached to the house year-round, now’s the time to check and replace any burned out or faded bulbs.
14. Dig the snow shovels out from storage and keep somewhere handy (you never know when you’ll wake up late for work and there’s 5 feet of snow on the ground!). While you’re at it, might as well get all the snow toys out and ready too (and don’t forget to read about the 5 ways to kill yourself on a snowmobile!).
15. If you own a snow blower, check that it’s working and doesn’t need any maintenance.
16. Check windows and doors for drafts and apply weather-stripping or caulking as needed to help reduce heat escaping and cold air entering your home, saving you money on your electricity bill.
17. Replace your old thermostat with a new programmable one. 18. Dust, vacuum, or wipe down your baseboard heaters.
19. Ensure your home is well insulated (check the attic and basement).
20. Replace single-pane windows with double-pane insulated ones or, at the very least, buy some plastic that puts another layer over the window.
21. Insulate hot water heater with an insulating blanket.
22. Check the furnace is working, isn’t due for maintenance, and clean or replace the filter if needed.
23. Check or replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
24. Vacuum your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to remove dust and test them to ensure they’re working.