Ready or not, it’s time to prepare for chilly temps over the next few months! In addition to unpacking your winter wardrobe, there are some home-related projects you should tackle before things get too frosty outside. Maintaining a house is a year-round responsibility, but the winter months can be especially harsh on the structure and systems within the home. Here are a few things you’ll want to look into as we head into the winter season.
Give Your HVAC System a Check-Up
It’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your HVAC system for both warm and cold weather, but there are a few specific things to check in the winter. You’ll want to make sure everything is in good working order and clean, and confirm there are no carbon monoxide leaks. Don’t forget to change the filter regularly to keep your system running smoothly all winter long!
Clean Your Chimney
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, there are a few things you should do annually before you cozy up by the fire. A professional chimney sweep will clear your chimney of creosote and soot buildup and make sure the venting is working properly.
Seal Any Drafty Areas
One of the easiest ways to rack up a high electric or gas bill is by failing to seal off drafty windows and doors. These tiny cracks allow cold air to come in and your cozy heat to escape! This is a project you can tackle on your own by picking up caulk and weather stripping from your local home improvement store.
Clear the Gutters
It’s a good idea to regularly clean your gutters to prevent water from backing up, but it’s crucial during the winter months. Standing water can freeze, causing ice dams, which may lead to the formation of icicles over time. The freezing and melting pattern that occurs in the winter can make this a persistent issue, so keeping your gutters clear of debris before things freeze over is key!
Any pipes that are exposed to cold air should be insulated to prevent freezing during the cold months. You should also drain and shut off your exterior faucets to prevent pipes from bursting when it’s below freezing outside.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
This is one of the easiest ways to save energy, and best of all, it’s something you can easily do on your own. For ceiling fans with a reverse switch, go ahead and switch them when you start using heat in your home. It creates an updraft and forces hot air down into the room, which may aid you in dropping your thermostat back a few degrees. This trick is especially beneficial in rooms with tall ceilings since all of that heat rises and you may not feel the warmth!
Drain Your Sprinkler System
If your home has an irrigation system, it’s important to take a few extra steps to safeguard the underground piping from freezing and expanding in cold weather – which can lead to cracks and water leaks. If you use a landscaping company, they will probably do this for you upon request. Otherwise, it’s something you can do on your own if you have a bit of time!
Take some time to create a game plan before the weather cools off too much, and work on getting your house in tip-top shape to face the winter months. Proper maintenance is key when it comes to protecting your biggest investment, and at C&F Mortgage, we’re here for you at every phase in your homeownership journey.