Many people think that the main reason for winterizing their home is to make sure it is ready for the cold weather so that their family will be comfortable. Winterizing can help make your home more comfortable by making it more airtight and energy-efficient. However, did you know that this small investment of time and money in performing what normally is considered basic maintenance could also help prevent costly emergency repairs to your home? Consider these tips for winterizing your home.

Making Your Home Airtight

  • Caulking. Prevent drafts by caulking around the edges of the interior trim of your windows and doors. If there are gaps between your walls and baseboard, seal them with caulk also.
  • Windows. If you have window-mounted air conditioners, remove for the winter. Lock your windows to prevent cold air from seeping in through small cracks. Use weatherstripping tape to fill any gaps.
  • Inspect your doors. Make sure that your doors close completely to prevent air leaks. Install door sweeps to help keep cold air from getting indoors.

Protecting Your Roof

  • Inspect your roof. Check for loose shingles or other damage to your roof and have repaired. Remove any debris such as leaves or branches that may have accumulated on your roof.
  • Clean and inspect gutters. Remove any debris from your gutters. If your gutters cannot drain during rain or snowstorms, they could cause damage to your shingles or indoor leaks.
  • Insulate your attic. By insulating your attic, you will help prevent heat loss during colder weather and ice dams.

Maintaining Your Heating System

  • Have furnace inspected. Regular maintenance is important for keeping your furnace running at its best.
  • Change filters. Ensure proper airflow by changing your furnace filter every month or as needed. A clean filter will help keep the air in your home fresh and prevent problems with your furnace.
  • Clean and inspect ducts. Your ductwork should be cleaned every three to five years. Inspect for loose sections or holes and have repaired.

Preventing Water Damage

  • Insulate pipes. Wrap pipes near exterior walls or those leading to and from your water heater with foam wrapping to prevent freezing and heat loss.
  • Outside faucets. Detach hoses, drain and shut off water supply to outside faucets.

Open cabinets. If extreme cold is expected, open cabinets under sinks to prevent pipes from freezing or install freeze alarms near pipes.