5 Essential Tasks to Include on Your Annual Winter Checklist
Every home has slightly different requirements when it comes to preparing it for winter, but if there is one rule of thumb that you should keep in mind when it comes to seasonal home maintenance it is “insulate and ventilate.” This sound principle applies to any dwelling, including condos, apartments and year-round cottages.
The idea encourages you to think of ways that you can prevent warm air from escaping, while at the same time making sure that your indoor environment is not polluted by the heating process. Additionally, any home’s preparation for winter should also be accomplished with the intention of lowering energy costs, being prepared for disaster and ensuring the daily safety and comfort of the residents.
Prepare Your Home for Winter
It is crucial for you to practice basic seasonal maintenance to keep your dwelling safe and healthy. Here are 10 essential things that you should do every fall to insulate and ventilate your dwelling, keep it safe and also lower your overall energy costs.
1. Have your HVAC system thoroughly checked out by a professional. This means having all filters replaced, including those in the furnace, as well as having all air ducts cleaned. Be sure to have any damaged parts of your HVAC system repaired before the arrival of winter.
This is the best way to ensure that your home is well ventilated, even with all of the windows closed. It also ensures that your indoor air remains free of odors, dust, and particulates.
2. Seal every window or door in your home with caulking or foam weather stripping. This is cheap and easy to do and helps prevent warm air from seeping out of your windowsills or between your doorframes. It can also prevent cold air from blowing through any cracks on windy, stormy days.
3. Make sure that your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are in good working order. If your furnace or ventilation system breaks down, harmful gases or combustion can occur that puts the lives of your family and any pets at risk.
These devices are the only early warning system you have to alert you that something is very wrong. The batteries in these units should be replaced every fall and every spring to make sure that they have enough power to function correctly in subsequent months.
4. Clear all eavestroughs, gutters, and drains of leaves, branches and other debris. This helps to vent water away from your house, so it does not end up flooding your yard. Water from clogged eavestroughs can end up spilling down the side of your home and into your basement, and if it happens all winter the accumulated moisture can even crack your basement walls. Blocked street drains can cause water to back up into your home and create a flood.
5. Stock up on de-icing salt to use on your driveway, sidewalks, and outdoor plumbing. Avoid slips and falls and costly trips to the hospital by salting your own sidewalk and driveway as well as the sidewalk in front of your home.
Don’t forget to use the salt on any stairs leading up to a porch or doorway. Make sure to get de-icing salt, as it will save you from doing a lot of scraping and shoveling after a snowfall.
If you rent a home in Louisville, KY, keep in mind that some of these responsibilities could be up to you, especially if your landlord is not on site.
Keep in mind, that just like any homeowner, it is in your best interests to keep your place as safe and well maintained as possible, or you could experience consequences such as flooding, carbon monoxide poisoning or even a lawsuit if someone falls on your unsalted walkway.