12 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Phil Puccio

Winter is almost here!

Even if winter in Texas isn’t like winter in the north, it is still a good idea to take a few steps to prepare your home for the cold. Here are 12 tips on how to prepare your home for winter.

Invert your ceiling fans.

Change the direction of rotation of your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans should spin clockwise at a low speed, pulling cooler air up and pushing warmer air down to the floor. It may sound silly, but every little bit helps.

Protect your home from drafts

Check your home’s windows and cladding for gaps. Over time, the gasket can wear out and gaskets / gaskets around the doors begin to dry and crack. Drafts can penetrate through these gaps in windows, doors and pipes leading to the outside. These gaps let moisture and small living things in along with the cold air.

For a better seal, remove any loose sealant, dust, and debris, and apply a bead of sealant around your windows, moldings, and any other openings. Also, check the seals around any exterior doors to make sure they are intact and still seal well along the edges, and make sure to replace any dry, cracked, or worn ones.

A solid seal around any openings will help keep the warm air in your home and insects out

Clean and update gutters

Gutters collect a range of debris from small twigs to leaves and dirt. These debris can easily block water drainage and then freeze inside the gutters and cause further damage if not removed. Use a ladder and bucket to go around the perimeter of your roof line and remove any debris from the gutters. When cleaning the gutters, be sure to check all parts including the downspouts to see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.

Have your chimney checked

If you own a house with a chimney, it’s a good idea to have it inspected before the first fire of the new season. Creosote, along with other chemicals, builds up on the walls inside the chimney and can cause damage, including unwanted fires. A simple chimney inspection will show you whether everything is in order or whether you need to have it cleaned professionally.

Prepare your garden

Now is the time to use a few simple steps to prepare your garden. Remove any dead leaves from the garden as heavy blankets / layers of dead leaves can rot the plants underneath. Most soils stay warmer than dry soil, so you should water your garden thoroughly before the temperature drops below freezing, before the temperature gets too low.

Adding a layer of mulch will help regulate soil temperature, suppress weeds, and keep moisture in the soil. Protect newly planted trees / shrubs and fragile plants from cold winds by wrapping them. People often use blankets, linen bags, and newspapers.

Installation of the water heater

Most of the newer water tanks are already insulated, but many of the older ones are not. An easy way to see if your water heater is insulated or not is to simply touch it. If it’s warm to the touch, it usually needs extra insulation. Blankets and pre-cut jackets for water heaters are sold in most hardware stores. It’s a small investment and can save you up to 15% on your water heating bill.

Turn your ceiling fans over

Change the direction of rotation of your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans should spin clockwise at a low speed, pulling cooler air up and pushing warmer air down to the floor. It may sound silly, but every little bit helps.

Furnace maintenance

Replace the filters in the oven and make sure that the cold air return is not obstructed by objects such as furniture. Dirty filters and clogged returns can affect the efficiency of your oven and cost you additional dollars.

Filters should be changed every month regardless of the season. It is a good habit to have your heating system checked by a professional every year.

Install a smart thermostat

A great way to regulate the temperature in your home is to install a smart thermostat. For example, you can set your house to be cool when no one is home and warm and warm when you get home. Most smart thermostats connect to your mobile phone so you can keep an eye on the temperature and make adjustments when you are away. A lower temperature when you are away from home translates into lower heating bills.

Protection of outdoor faucets

Winterizing your outdoor faucets can help protect them from freezing. Freezing the faucet / pipes can cause serious damage and even burst pipes.

Turn off the water flowing to the outdoor faucet, and then disconnect and drain the hoses attached to the faucets.

Most faucet covers come in two styles. They either consist of rigid thermal foam with an edge seal or are flexible insulating bags that you attach around the nozzle. Both designs form a strong seal around the base of the nozzle and this provides good protection against tearing of the nozzle from freezing.

Even if you have “frost-free” or “frost-proof” cones, it is still wise to cover them. Extreme weather and temperature conditions can nevertheless lead to a pipe rupture.

Thoroughly examine your roof

Look for missing or damaged shingles, curled or kinked shingles, and shingles that have lost a noticeable amount of their granules. Shingles buckling in the middle of the flap can be an indication that there is too much moisture in the attic due to poor ventilation. That should be addressed as soon as possible. Make sure the vents are free of bird nest. Roll shingles and shingles with loss of granules are a sign that you will need to replace your roof in the foreseeable future, probably in one to three years. Missing shingles should always be replaced immediately. Missing shingles can easily let rain, frost and snow enter the house. Most people can only see part of their roof from the ground, so be sure to check out the entire roof.

Have your home inspected professionally

We always recommend hiring a professional for tuning ups, home inspections, or repairs. We never recommend climbing a ladder or doing inspections yourself. We have spent years learning safe and professional inspection techniques. If you think you would like your property to be professionally inspected, give us a call or contact us online for a no-obligation appointment. We are rated A + BBB and have helped thousands of homeowners here at DFW.

Written by our wonderful storm repair and roofing expert:

Johnathan Turner

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