December 16, 2021
The coldest months of the year are upon us, and so are winter storms! Follow our checklist to prepare your home and car for the coming winter.
First up on your winter home maintenance checklist is to check the doors and windows in your home to make sure no cold air is seeping in. This can drive up energy costs significantly. To fix this problem, try installing a draft guard on the bottom of your door. There are also energy-efficient fiberglass doors available. Either option could help save energy and money. See more of our winter cost-saving energy tips here.
Take this time to ensure that everything looks normal with your heating and air conditioning system. It is recommended that you hire a NATE certified technician to inspect the system if possible. The inspector should monitor carbon monoxide, clean the filter, motor, and inspect the piping. You may want them to also check your heating ducts, just to make sure that everything is functional and ready to go when you need it.
Before the snow and ice arrive, consult roofing professionals to determine if your roof can withstand this year’s winter storms. Have them check for any leaks or other issues that could damage your home.
This is a perfect time to check your gutters as well. Leftover leaves from the fall can build up in your gutters and cause water to overflow down the sides of your house. This can create several problems, from deteriorating the exterior of your home to water seeping into the foundation of your house and into the basement.
Always have snow-melting materials on hand to prevent slip and fall accidents. If you have pets, check that the product is safe for animals.
You hear it often–frozen pipes can be a potentially huge and expensive problem. In order to prevent this from happening to you, first turn off and drain any outdoor faucets (this includes sprinkler systems).
Another important tip: Keep your thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees, even if you are away from your home. Consider adding extra insulation to your pipes, and fill any cracks or holes near existing pipes.
Winter weather can be hard on your car battery, so it is best to add an inspection to your winter maintenance checklist. Ask a licensed mechanic to check the battery for corrosion, and while they’re at it, ask to have the antifreeze mixture checked as well. It should be a 50:50 ratio of antifreeze to water.
The sun sets much earlier in the day during the winter, so it is crucial that your car’s lights are functioning properly. Fix any bulbs that have gone out, and consider replacing any foggy or yellowed headlights.
It is also essential to have effective windshield wipers, as you may need them for the inclement weather. Wiper blades should be replaced every year. Depending on where you live, you may wish to purchase special blades designed specifically for winter.
Cold weather causes the air pressure in your tires to drop, which could affect your driving control, gas mileage, and more. Inflate your tires to the proper psi to ensure safe traction while driving through winter weather. Keep an eye on tire pressure during the winter, and don’t forget to let out a small bit of air when temperatures increase again in the spring.
Keep your car packed with supplies, such as a fully charged cell phone or battery, jumper cables, flashlight, roadside flares, blankets, ponchos, an ice scraper, first-aid kit, and non-perishable food items, such as protein bars, nuts, and granola.
This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.