Ready or not, winter has arrived – and we may soon see snow. In winter, not only do you have to take care of yourself, but it’s important to take care of your home. Our winter home maintenance checklist includes some items to do now to prepare your home for the cold weather ahead.
Prepare for winter storms. Check your snow shovels, gloves, car window scrapers, and replace as needed. Whether or not you’re expecting snow, it’s always a good idea to keep the pantry stocked with food, bottled water, candles and flashlights in case of power outages.
Prevent frozen pipes. Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees (especially if you’ll be away). Leave your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to warm exposed pipes.
Disconnect garden hoses. Shut off the water supply to your outdoor faucets. Then, turn on the outside faucets to drain any remaining water to prevent it from freezing. Roll up hoses and store them indoors until spring.
Clean humidifiers. Prevent spreading harmful bacteria and mold in the air by changing the water daily and disinfecting your humidifier at least once a week. Most filters can be cleaned with cool running water and then air dried. If you have a central humidifier, don’t forget to turn it on.
Avoid drafts. Caulk and weather-strip your windows and doors to improve your home’s overall comfort level and energy efficiency. Check your attic insulation to see if it has deteriorated or flattened which can reduce its efficiency and may be an indication that you need to add more.
Brighten your interior. Wipe lightbulbs with a damp cloth dipped in a mixture of one ounce of dish soap, a quarter cup of white vinegar, and three cups of water. With shorter days in the winter, this task will not only brighten up your home, it will also increase energy efficiency and save money.
Once you check these items off your list, you’ll be ready to sit back and relax with family and friends by a cozy fire.