Your Winter Home Checklist
We all know with winter approaching we should be preparing our homes for the cold weather and there are a number of things we should have be doing. To save you some time figuring out what all those things are, here's a list of 20 things you should do around your home to make sure you both you and your home are ready for winter.
Winter Preparation Checklist
- Have your furnace professionally serviced. This includes cleaning and checking the supply lines, furnace ducts, filters and thermostat.
- If you have a fireplace, have your chimney cleaned to get rid of any creosote build up. Also have your fireplace damper checked to be sure it is opening and closing properly.
- Purchase or chop a supply of firewood and store it outside, away from your home's foundation.
- Check the glass in your windows and doors, if any is cracked or broken replace it before the cold weather gets here, (Don't forget your basement windows as well).
- Look at the caulking around your doors and windows. Remove any that is cracked or peeling and install fresh new caulking while the weather is warm enough to do the job.
- Add weather stripping around the edges of doors and windows to prevent cold drafts from coming in during the winter.
- Clean leaves and debris out of your gutters so fall rains and melting snow this winter won't freeze and pull them right off your house.
- Trim any tree branches that are overhanging your roof or are close to electric or utility wires.
- Turn off the water supply to your outside taps and drain the water supply lines leading to them.
- Drain all your hoses and put them away in your shed or garage. If you have a lawn or garden sprinkler system be sure to drain it and blow out the lines as well.
- Check to be sure your handrails and walkways are in good condition. If they need work, now's the time to repair them, not after the cold weather arrives.
- Drain the gas from your lawn mower and any other engines that won't be used until next spring. Getting the gas out of the engine will prevent old gas from gumming up the carburetors, making the engines easier to start next spring.
- Make sure your snow blower will start and have it serviced if there is a problem.
- Make sure your snow shovel is in good repair and replace it if it's not. It's also a good idea to spray your snow shovels with WD-40 or cooking spray to prevent snow from sticking when you're shoveling.
- Plant your spring bulbs and dig up any bulbs (such as dahlias) that won't survive in the cold.
- Buy some bags of salt, ice melt or sand so you can avoid the mad rush when that first snow fall comes.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they're working and install fresh batteries.
- Gather the phone numbers of your utility companies as well as your furnace technician and store them near your telephone or tape them inside your phone book.
- Prepare for an emergency. Get a supply of bottled water, non perishable food, a flashlight and batteries, candles and matches or a lighter, warm clothes and blankets, a portable radio and a camp stove for cooking.
- Consider purchasing a back up generator so your home will be able to function even without utility power.
Disclaimer: the above information is for general purposes only. Any reliance or action taken based on the information, materials and techniques described are the responsibility of the user. Readers are advised to consult appropriate professional resources to determine what is safe and suitable in their particular case.