Winter Home Maintenance: 10 Steps to Ensure a Comfortable Season


Winter Home Maintenance: 10 Steps to Ensure a Comfortable Season

With winter just around the corner, many of us are tidying up the house and preparing for the chilly days ahead. Winter is the harshest season of the year. That's why our homes might need more preparation than the other seasons, as any negligence can lead to discomfort and damage to your house and belongings.

Below, we have listed ten home maintenance steps to ensure a comfortable winter for you and your loved ones. Let’s take a look.

Properly seal the windows and doors

Gaps around windows and doors are a potent reason for an uncomfortable winter. The gaps or leaks allow cold air to pass inside, leading to heat loss. It also increases your heating cost.

A thorough inspection of the doors and windows can quickly detect the leaks. Caulking usually works to seal up these gaps and prevent heat loss. The exterior of your house can also have these gaps. Finding and sealing them further strengthens the thermal barrier and ensures that you spend your winter days comfortably.

Have your roof inspected

Leaked roofs can also let moisture and cold air enter your home during the winter and create discomfort. Inspect your roof to find damaged or loose shingles and fix them. Look out for roof decays. Check the rubber around the vents. If it’s worn out or covered with moss, your roof might be decaying.

Flat roofs catch debris and leaves and can decay as these retain moisture. Always blow away leaves from your roof, especially if it’s flat.

If you’re afraid of heights or can't fix roofs, call a professional service for top-notch output.

Check your heating system

We don’t use our heating system all year round, so it’s necessary to inspect it thoroughly before restarting it in winter. Invest in a good inspection service that might cost you $100-$300 annually. The service includes a proper inspection of your heating system, including the boiler and heat pump. Clogged filters can reduce the system's efficiency and downgrade the air quality. The service can clean the components and ventilation, and change the filters. The service ensures the system is well-functioning and won't pose a hazard during chilly nights.

Check the chimney and fireplace

Chimneys accumulate buildup from usage, so inspect and clean them properly before the season begins. Buildups can easily obstruct ventilation and cause a fire. Cleaning the debris and soot improves the indoor air quality and reduces hazards.

Birds and pests might seek shelter inside your chimney during winter, so installing a chimney cap ensures safety. You can hire a service for total cleanup and cap installation. 

Winterize the plumbing system

Pipes freeze over during winter and in extreme cases, burst. Fixing them can cost you a few hundred dollars. It’s wiser to winterize your plumbing system right before winter hits to prevent unwanted repair costs.

Start by insulating pipes where heat can’t reach, such as basements and garages. Materials such as foam sleeves prevent the pipes from going down to the freezing temperature. Drain the outdoor pipes and faucets. You can also use heat tape on these pipes to prevent freezing.

Winterize the outdoors

Just like the indoors, the outdoors of your home also needs winterization. “Winterizing is a crucial step in ensuring that your outdoor spaces not only survive the harsh conditions but also thrive when spring returns,” says a representative at Gateway Home & Garden Center Gainesville VA.

The first step is to clean all debris and fallen leaves from your ground and garden beds. Mow your lawns and trim all shrubs and trees. Use an insulation - such as a burlap sack - to cover plants susceptible to winter damage. Seal any gaps in the hardscape surface and add a protective coating on your patio deck. Don’t forget to install snow fencing and store away your outdoor furniture to prevent snow damage.

Install energy-efficient windows

Energy-efficient windows increase the comfort inside your home and help save energy. They contain advanced glazing and insulation which protects the heat and keeps it inside the room for long hours. This leads to less energy consumption, which is beneficial for the environment and easy on your pocket.

Check and clean the gutter

Gutters and downspouts carry away rainwater and water from melted snow. When leaves and debris gather in your gutters, it can clog the system and trap water, which can freeze during winter. It can create an ice dam at the roof’s edge and damage it. It can also lead to water leakage inside your home. That's why cleaning the gutters before winter is always a good idea.

Inspect the detectors

If your home has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, inspect them before the season hits. Change their batteries, clean them properly, and run a thorough test to ensure they function well. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, which makes it dangerous and hard to detect. A fully functioning detector is, therefore, crucial. Researchers say that carbon monoxide poisoning usually rises during winter.

Reverse your fans

If your ceiling fans have a reverse button, the winter might be the best time to use it. As warm air tends to rise upward, having a reversed fan will push it downward and prevent any warm air from sticking close to the ceiling. It'll ensure a better distribution of the heating and will save energy usage and cost.

Keeping your home clean and healthy is essential throughout the year, but due to the harshness of winter, you might need to take it up a notch. You can’t do much once the snowfall begins and the temperature drops to freezing point. So, it’s better to start preparing when the sun is still warm and winter has just begun to knock at our door. 

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