After a summer of record-breaking heatwaves, you’re probably looking forward to things cooling off a bit. It’s already back-to-school season, and winter isn’t far off. Before you know it, temperatures will dip, days will grow shorter, and quiet will settle over the neighborhood. But before you can huddle under a blanket with a big mug of hot cocoa, there are a few things you should do to prepare for the season ahead.
Here are 10 of our best tips to prepare your home for winter:
Check your heating system: There are more house fires in winter than during any other time of year. The culprits: your home’s electrical and heating systems. Getting a tune-up for your heating system at the beginning of the season will ensure it’s clean and in good working order, ready to keep you warm until the spring.
Clean the chimney: Before you can start your first cozy fire, your chimney and vents should be clean and in good repair. You can remove ordinary chimney soot easily on your own, but if you have heavy creosote buildup, you should call in a pro to help. A clean chimney prevents chimney fires and carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are often the first indicators something is wrong. Making sure they have new, full batteries and are working as they should be could potentially save your home and even your life.
Check your home warranty: Winterizing your home often means paying attention to areas of your home that you may overlook the rest of the year. It may also make you realize where the gaps in your home warranty coverage are. If you’ve recently added a pool or spa, sump pump, water softener, or even a new deep freezer, it may be time to update your home warranty coverage to include them. First Premier Home Warranty has two premier plans to choose from with optional add-ons because they know every household is different and with a different set of needs.
Seal any window drafts: If you’ve ever told your kids to close the door because you weren’t heating the outside, you may want to check your windows. Older homes can develop leaky windows that let in the cold air, leading to drafts and higher heating bills. Locating the biggest leaks around your home and sealing them up, either with caulk, insulation or adding interior window coverings, will help keep the heat inside.
Reverse ceiling fans: Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch that changes the direction of their blades. Once you’ve turned the heat on for the winter, the blades should run clockwise. Because hot air rises, the ceiling fan blades will create an updraft that brings the hot air back down into the living space, keeping the area warm and saving energy and heating costs.
Close your pool: While people who live in a southern climate may be able to keep their pools open year-long, those in the north close their pools before autumn’s falling leaves arrive. The off-season is the perfect time to tend to any issues that may have developed, like liner tears and leaks. Your home warranty may also cover pool and spa leak repairs.
Check the roof: Winter storms and melting snow can cause damage to your roof and the inside of your home if you don’t get it taken care of quickly. Some home warranty plans cover limited roof leaks for just this reason. Before winter hits, check your roof for any damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may lead to more serious damage later.
Clean the gutters: While you’ve got the ladder out, don’t forget to make sure your gutters are clean. If left unmaintained, gutters can fill with leaves and other debris, backing water up against the house and damaging roofing, siding, and trim. This can also cause leaks and ice dams, which can cause melt water from icicles to back up and flow into your home.
Test your sump pump: You should test your sump pump every few months, especially after a long dry season or before a wet (or snowy) one. To do this, slowly pour several gallons of water into the sump pit to see whether the pump turns on.
Protect Your Home Systems and Appliances with a Home Warranty
A home warranty can help save money when winterizing your home. First Premier Home Warranty is a leader in affordable home warranty plans for repairs and service. Whether you need coverage for roof leaks, a pool or spa, sump pump, deep freezer, or other appliances, their premier and premier platinum plans, as well as optional add-ons, allow you to customize your coverage. First Premier Home Warranty knows the hard work that goes into keeping your home and household running. Count on them to keep your home’s systems and appliances in check. Get a free quote on home warranty coverage today!