Home preparations for winter
It’s finally happening…the temperature is dropping by the minute, and you’re gearing up to spend more time inside the house than outside. But you’ve spent the last few months making sure your house was ready for summer weather and fun happenings in the yard. What do you need to do to make sure the change of weather doesn’t catch you unprepared? While the days are still brisk and pleasant, take a few easy steps to get your house and yard ready for the coming winter.
1. Weatherproofing— What seems like a nice breeze blowing through your house after summer passes can quickly become a winter freeze-out! Check your doors and windows for any gaps that might have occurred during the fall cool-down. Replace weather stripping that might have come loose around doors and windows and make sure screens are secured tightly. This includes screen and security doors that you might keep open for an autumn refresh but that should seal tightly for winter to keep out the chill.
2. Chimney Clean-Out—If you haven’t used your fireplace for most of the year, now’s a perfect time to make sure it’s clean and clear for new fires. Move any nests that may have accumulated on top, relocating them to safer spots in nearby trees. Sweep away any ash in the hearth that might have been missed at the end of last winter. And if necessary, hire a professional to give the chimney a good clean-out.
3. Yard Furniture Prep—You may have plans for some good times outdoors this winter. S’mores around the firepit, hot chocolate on the patio or wine nights on the porch with neighbors are all wonderful cold-weather activities! To be ready for them, spray down your outdoor furniture and give cushions a good refresh. Clear away webs that may have gathered underneath and replace any pieces that may have been damaged beyond use by the summer heat. And if you’re low on outdoor heating sources, think about adding a chiminea or fire bowl to your existing set-up.
4. Trimming and Pruning—Fall is the right time to cut back bushes and shrubs, as well as pruning trees that may need it. The mild weather will prevent your plants from going into shock. If you’re unsure of the proper pruning method for your specific trees, research online to find handy guides or hire a professional landscaper who can give your yard a manicured look without risking damage or losing any valuable growth.
5. Heating Tune-Up—Before you need to use it, make sure your central heating is up to par. Change your filters and give the system a test run to make sure the thermostat is responsive and that the corresponding heat is working properly. If anything seems amiss, reach out to a professional HVAC maintenance company and invest in a tune-up package. This will prevent you from running into uncomfortable moments in the deep of winter or during surprise storms that can catch you off-guard. Check furnaces and radiators in the same way.
Though the weather outside might be frightful, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the winter weather from inside or outside, as long as you’re prepared for it. With a little forethought and some modest investments, you can create a happy lodge-like environment in your own home to celebrate and entertain for all the cold weather occasions to come!