If you want your home to make it through the winter months unscathed, you’ll need to take the proper measures to protect it. In other words, you need to winterproof your home.
But if you wait until you’re hearing Christmas carols on the radio to take the necessary steps to protect your home, you’ll be too late. Here are 6 ways to winterproof your home this fall so your home is ready for the cold temperatures, snow, and whatever else the season wants to throw at it:
1. Store patio furniture
Winter isn’t the time for barbecues and dining alfresco, so it’s important that you protect your grill and patio furniture in the winter months — that way, they’ll be ready to roll when the weather starts to warm.
Take your patio furniture and grill and put them into storage. This is especially important if you have aluminum patio furniture, which can rust once the snow hits. If you don’t have a place to store your grill and furniture (or if your furniture is made of a more durable material), you should at the very least cover it up to protect it from the elements.
2. Empty and store hoses
You’ll also want to store your garden hoses before the temperature drops. If you leave your hoses as is, the water in them can freeze, which can cause holes and leaks.
Drain each of your garden hoses and store them inside until the spring.
3. Protect your home from chilly winter air
One of the trademarks of winter is cold air, and if that cold air finds a way into your house, you’re likely to find yourself shivering no matter how high you turn up the heat.
It’s important to seal off your house to keep cold air from getting in. Look for any gaps in the walls or foundation and seal them with foam or caulk (you can also use caulk to seal any gaps around windows). If your home is notorious for being cold in the winter, you’ll also want to check the insulation. Your attic and basement should be insulated, and if the insulation is old or improperly installed, it can cause dropping temperatures in the colder months.
Redoing or adding insulation isn’t cheap, so if you’re unsure of whether your insulation needs an upgrade, consult an insulation professional and get an estimate.
4. Get the right thermostat
One of the most important ways to protect your home in the winter is keeping it at the proper temperature. But “proper temperature” is relative; obviously, you’ll want your house warmer while you’re home, but it’s fine to turn down the heat while you’re out. But if you turn OFF the heat, you run the risk of the temperature dropping too low.
A programmable thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home at all times. You can program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you leave, and raise the temperature before you get home so you get to return to a nice, toasty environment. Many of the new thermostats even connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature in your home straight from your mobile device.
5. Switch to winter fabrics
When the winter chill kicks in, you’re going to want lots of warm, cozy fabrics to keep you warm. Replace your summer linens with more substantial fabrics, like velvet, fleece, or faux fur, to match the season. Put a throw or blanket in one of these fabrics in each room so you always have something on hand to wrap yourself up with when the temperature drops.
6. Replace your furnace filter
Old, dirty filters will make your furnace less efficient, driving up your energy bills and making your home more difficult to heat. Replace your furnace filter this fall to ensure that your furnace is in tip-top shape when winter hits.
Colder temperatures are on their way, so it’s important to protect your home while you still have time. And with these winterproofing tips, getting your home ready should be a cinch.