A good defense is the key when protecting your home against cold weather. Be your own home inspector. Take a stroll around the house with this checklist.
- Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check that fire extinguishers work. You should have one in the kitchen and one in a family room.
- Hire a chimney sweep to clean the chimney and remove creosote buildup.
- Schedule an annual heating system tuneup to make sure your unit is running and properly adjusted. Periodically change or clean the furnace filter and make sure air ducts are not leaking.
- Add pipe wrap to insulate interior water pipes that are exposed and could freeze.
- Change the batteries and reset your programmable thermostat.
- Install weather-stripping on the inside of old windows to seal gaps and prevent air infiltration.
- Clean gutters and downspouts so rainwater can flow through them. Make sure theyre free of obstructions, and refasten loose straps holding downspouts to the siding. Patch holes in the gutters and position the splash plate so it directs water away from the house.
- Inspect joints between doors and windows and the siding for air leaks. Apply caulk to seal the joints.
- Inspect siding and refasten any loose clapboards and trim. Apply caulk to seal any joints between siding and openings or other material. Patch any holes or cracks in brick or masonry.
- Inspect the weather-stripping around the exterior of doors and windows. If it is in poor condition, replace it to prevent air infiltration.
- Install storm windows and doors, if you dont have them.
- Turn off the water supply to all outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Drain the water by opening the spigot.
- Remove window air-conditioner units and store them inside or apply a winter cover.
- Clean up debris around central air conditioning units and cover.
- Clean out the garage or shed and remove anything that might freeze, such as paint or adhesives.
After making needed repairs, you can rest easy knowing your home will be ready for any kind of weather.