A homeowner’s job is never complete, so before winter arrives, you should also take the opportunity to see what improvements can be made to prepare your home for winter. This is necessary because some winter months can be brutal, and being prepared can help lessen the impact of the cold. Additionally, when winter is in full swing, the urge is to huddle on your couch, burrowed in warm layers of fabric, so making home improvements will be the last thing you want to do. Taking care of all the projects that require immediate attention will help lower the risk of damage to your home while making your home as comfortable as possible. Here are the top tips for getting your home ready before winter.
1. Consider Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency
One of the ultimate goals of getting your home ready before winter is to increase the energy efficiency of your home and save money on heating costs. During the winter months, your home is bound to use more energy to fully meet your home’s heating needs. This is especially so if you’re planning to spend a lot of time at home, where you will need to have the heat turned up at all times and require a steady supply of hot water, among other things. The best way to ensure that your energy consumption doesn’t get out of control is to implement several small energy-saving initiatives all at once.
For instance, you can start by checking for air and getting rid of drafty spots. This ensures that heated air inside your home has no way of escaping. Check for gaps around your windows, doors, and cracks in the floor. Seal these gaps and cracks and also install weatherstripping. When there’s no heated air escaping from your home, this reduces the burden on your HVAC system, improving its energy efficiency. If you have a flexible budget, another way of improving your home’s energy efficiency is through a new garage door installation.
There are many trusted brands on the market, and an option like a Clopay garage door comes highly recommended in terms of durability and aesthetic design. The best garage doors have superior insulation, which prevents outside temperatures from affecting the interior of your home. Again, this makes your HVAC system work less hard, so it uses less power. Still, another energy-efficient initiative is to install a solar screen. The good news is that solar screens are not only ideal in summer, but they can also provide extra insulation to your windows, and this additional layer of protection from the cold helps keep your home warmer. More energy-efficient initiatives include taking advantage of the natural warmth of the sun, closing unused vents and doors, and staying bundled up in warm clothing.
2. Pay Attention to Your Flooring
A little planning can go a long way towards ensuring that your floors are prepared to handle the coming winter months. The things you can do to winterize your floors depend on the type of flooring you have. If you have carpets, get prepared by giving them a deep cleaning. Carpets are the best flooring for winter months because they offer a high level of comfort and can help improve the energy efficiency of your home because of their insulating properties. However, over time, carpets tend to trap and harbor dust, allergens, and all sorts of debris. You shouldn’t wait for winter to deep clean your carpets because, if you’re like most people, you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors. Therefore you want to make sure the air you will be breathing is as clean as possible.
Even if you have a different type of floor, such as a hardwood floor or a luxury vinyl floor. You should aim to keep as much dirt as possible out of your home. Start by investing in high-quality floor mats that can minimize the risk of people tracking mud and dirt into your home. You can also create a designated shoe station by the door so that people don’t walk inside your home with their shoes right after they have been inside. It’s easier to trap dirt in the entryways when you have thick, high-quality mats placed in strategic positions that can make life easier for you during winter.
Be sure to do your research for tailored advice about winterizing your floors based on the type of flooring you might have. For instance, if you have hardwood or concrete flooring, it can crack or warp due to temperature and humidity changes. As such, it’s important to invest in a humidifier that will keep the atmosphere moisturized and your home in good condition. If you’re dreading stepping on cold floors during winter, installing in-floor heating can solve your problem.
3. Repair Your Roof and Clean Gutters
There’s no better time to be thankful for having a roof over your head than in winter. However, you can only have true peace of mind by knowing that your roof is in perfect condition before winter comes. This is why it’s important to work with a local roofer to winterize your roof, which can be done in several ways. For starters, your gutters and downspouts are part of your roofing system, so they need to be cleared to get rid of all the accumulated leaves, twigs, and debris. Clearing your gutters and downspouts helps prevent damage to your roof by ensuring there’s a clear way for water to travel. Otherwise, pooling water on your roof can lead to all sorts of problems, such as wood rot and ice dams.
You should also check the flashing or the metal strip coverings that are found on your chimney and vents. Seal any gaps that are apparent to prevent expensive water damage. While at it, also schedule a roof inspection to determine if your roof is capable of withstanding the upcoming harsh winter weather. The last thing you want is to deal with issues such as leaks that can affect the appearance and comfort of your home’s interior. You must fix any issues that come up during an inspection before winter comes. Your roofing contractor will evaluate various parts of your roof and recommend repairs that need to be done before it starts to snow. By hiring a local roofer sooner rather than later, you can prevent the risk of needing emergency roofing repairs in the thick of winter.
4. Install a Porch
One of the top reasons why many people can’t wait for winter to be over is they are yearning to spend more time outdoors. When the weather is intensely cold outside, venturing outside can leave you shivering. The good news is that hiring a 3 season porch contractor gives you the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while remaining comfortable. What is a 3-season porch? This is an upgraded version of your typical porch, which offers extra protection against extreme temperatures. That’s because the porch is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass, so you have the best visuals of your outdoor environment without being exposed to uncomfortable weather.
A 3-season porch is so called because it’s handy throughout the different seasons, so you can consider it to be a long-term investment. You not only get to enjoy the space in winter but all year round, because you have the ability to control the heating and cooling inside the room. A three-season porch also comes with plenty of benefits because it unlocks more living space and allows you to connect with nature while being protected.
5. Take Care of Your Landscape
You’ll also need to do some work around your yard before winter to make sure your landscape has been thoroughly winterized. Do you have trees in your yard? As the temperatures drop and the frost arrives, your trees will need protection against the harsh winter weather. Just before winter is the perfect time to look for the best tree trimming contractors. Tree care professionals will ensure that all the dead and damaged branches have been proved. If there are dead trees in your yard, it’s best to hire a tree removal service. That’s because not only do they attract pests, but dead trees can easily fall under the weight of heavy snow, where they can damage property or cause injuries.
When it comes to winterizing your trees and shrubs, you can perform additional tasks like aerating and fertilizing the soil, insulating the roots, and deep watering. As for the rest of your yard, clean up the area by clearing leaves and staying on top of other landscape management tasks that will keep your outdoor environment in the best possible condition. If you want your landscape to thrive throughout winter, you can even plant a winter flower bed that will be ready to blossom by the time warmer weather rolls around.
So, when it comes to getting your home ready, don’t just focus on short-term tasks. Your landscape will look more alive down the line if you invest time in planting for spring. Although plants can be dormant during winter, their root systems will be very alive. When you plant with spring in mind, you’re giving the new plants the opportunity to establish themselves deep in the soil so that by the time the plant sprouts, it will thrive and grow to be a healthy plant. Aside from planting, other ways to winterize your landscape are to make sure all your equipment and tools are safely stowed away, the drains have been cleaned out, and you have turned off the main source of water for your irrigation system.
6. Check Your HVAC System
You will need to rely on your HVAC system more than ever during winter, so it’s best to get the system checked out ahead of time. You want to make sure that your HVAC system is in the best possible condition and functioning efficiently. Start by scheduling professional inspection and maintenance where a trusted HVAC technician inspects your system, identifies potential issues, and fixes them. They’ll also perform preventive work and give your system a tune-up designed to make it more efficient. For example, they will change the air filter, lubricate moving parts, test electrical connections, and ensure there are no refrigerant leaks.
After an inspection, your HVAC technician could also recommend a replacement. This is especially true if the existing system is old and on its last legs. Replacing an old and cranky system is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your home is kept reliably warm without the high energy bill associated with low-efficiency HVAC systems. When shopping for a new system, look for ENERGY STAR-certified products with a high SEER rating. Also, make sure you hire a reputable professional so that the system is properly installed and can function well.
Besides working with qualified HVAC technicians, there’s also a lot you can do to prepare your system before winter. For instance, you can get your chimney cleaned if you plan to use your fireplace to add more wealth to your home. Alternatively, you can also consider the use of pellet stoves, which are more convenient to operate than ordinary wooden stoves. Looking for other ways to heat your home allows you to turn down the thermostat without interfering with your home’s comfort. Being able to turn the room thermostat down by even one degree can save you a lot on your heating bills in the long run.
You might be tempted to wait until the last minute to get your home before winter, but being proactive can save you a lot of hassle down the line. By the time you complete this checklist, you’ll have made huge progress towards winterizing your home. The truth is that there’s more you can always do to winterize your home, such as insulating your windows, having the chimney cleaned, and draining your lawn irrigation system. So, before winter arrives, be sure to prioritize your home winterization checklist. Leave other projects like backyard modifications and garage cabinet installation to other times that are more conducive.