Grab the hats, gloves and scarves, because last night we got our first taste of freezing temps here in the DMV. While many of you have already started the process of winterizing your home, some of us have been reluctant to accept the lower temps and thoughts of the long winter to come.
It is always extremely important to make sure that your home is properly prepared for the winter season. Being "winter ready" will improve your home's efficiency, extend the life of your current home features and prevent costly future damage to your investment.
Below are some action items to consider when winterizing your home:
Turn off and drain exterior water fixtures: This will prevent pipes from freezing and bursting which can be a costly fix that no homeowner wants to experience.
Clean and inspect chimney: Before you get cozy and gather around the fireplace make sure the chimney has been cleaned and inspected. This also goes for homes with wood and pellet stoves. Inspecting and cleaning the chimney is key when protecting and keeping your home safe.
Weather-strip any drafty doors or windows: Sealing off any cold air that is leaking from windows and doors can help reduce your utility bills during these winter months.
Check your heating system: As a rule of thumb, heating systems should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year, preferably in the fall before freezing temps become a more common occurrence.
Reverse ceiling fan blades to push warm air down: Warm air rises, reversing the blades will force the warm air down to the occupied spaces of your home.
Clean gutters: Removing debris from the gutters will help prevent water that is stuck due to poor drainage from freezing and damaging your roof.
Change furnace filters: This will help to keep your heating system clean and in turn help to reduce utility costs.
Purchase a good snow shovel: Waking up to a gorgeous snowfall and then realizing you do not have a snow shovel is never fun. Make sure you are prepared and able to clear the drive and walkways around your home when the first snow hits.