How to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter Weather

Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter Weather

Use this checklist to prepare your home for cooler temperatures.

Clean Your Gutters

You should clean your gutters in the spring and fall every year, so that they can continue to direct water away from your home’s walls and foundation. When dead leaves and debris build up in your gutters, drainpipes can clog and water can seep beneath your siding.

Drain Your Irrigation System

Even if all you have is an outdoor spigot, you should shut off the water to it and drain it before the first frost. Winterize your pool and hot tub, and drain your sprinkler system.

Get Your Furnace Serviced

Schedule an HVAC service early on in the season, so you can make sure your furnace is in good working order before you need to turn up the heat. Change your HVAC filter monthly and make sure the vents in your home are clear and aren’t blocked by furniture, drapes or carpeting.

Have Your Chimney Cleaned

If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace that you use in the winter, you should have your chimney cleaned yearly to remove creosote and other residue that can build up and cause fires. Hire a professional and have them check that the damper can be closed tightly enough to prevent drafts.

Flush Your Water Heater

To prepare for colder weather, flush your water heater to remove sediment from the tank and help ensure that the tank won’t start leaking in the middle of the coldest night of the year.

Inspect Weatherstripping and Seal Drafts

Inspect the weatherstripping and caulk around your doors and windows for damage and replace it as necessary. Sealing cracks with weatherstripping blocks drafts, makes your home more comfortable and lowers your energy costs. You can also hang draft-blocking curtains or seal windows with window insulation film.

Get a Home Energy Audit

Minimize your heating costs by performing a home energy audit to find out where the drafts are in your home before the weather turns cold. You might be able to get a free, professional home energy audit from your utility company, or you can hire a professional.

Prevent Ice Dams

Icicles hanging from your roof could signal ice dams, which can rip shingles off your roof, pull off gutters and cause water damage to your house. A weatherization professional can help address the root causes of ice dams by adding insulation and ventilation where needed to stop ice from forming.

Source: American Home Shield

ERA® and the ERA logo are registered service marks owned by ERA Franchise Systems LLC. Each ERA office is independently owned and operated. Supporter of the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Note: Always use proper safety precautions and consult with qualified professionals when necessary before attempting any home maintenance project. This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.

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