Top 10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter isn’t coming – it’s already here. And now is the time to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to prepare it for the cold months. Even if you live in an area with mild winters, being proactive can protect your house from any problems that…

10 ways to prepare your home for winter | Building Pro Home Inspection Kelowna

Winter isn’t coming – it’s already here. And now is the time to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to prepare it for the cold months. Even if you live in an area with mild winters, being proactive can protect your house from any problems that could become expensive. As you prepare to increase the heat, it’s important to protect your home from potential damage and address heat and energy leaks. So before the cold snaps any sharper, follow these top 10 ways to prepare your home for winter.

CLEAR THE GUTTERS

It may not be the first thing you think of, but clearing the gutters and drains is an essential task. Debris such as leaves and mud can block the drains and once it becomes too much, it can cause leaks into the roof and walls. Making sure the gutters are clear from any possible build-up will minimise the risk of water damage.

KEEP THE HEAT IN

It is vitally important for your energy savings to ensure there are no air leaks in your home. Warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder and cost you more to heat your home. Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between door frames and weatherstripping to seal windows. Also, properly insulating your home will decrease heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

REPLACE YOUR FURNACE FILTER

Before you start running your furnace, check the filter. If your furnace filter looks dirty, replace it. Dirty filter maintenance is a year round concern. The more people and pets there are in your home, the quicker the filter will get dirty. Replace your furnace filter regularly – ideally every month, at least every three months.

PIPE INSULATION

Burst pipes are a common occurrence during the winter due to rapid freezing and thawing, causing potentially huge expenses to fix. The best way to stop this from happening is to insulate your pipes to reduce heat loss. Buy some easy-to-apply tubular pipe insulation sleeves from your local hardware store and cover all exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as the basement and attic.

REGARD THE YARD

Making sure your home is ready for winter may mean bundling up and putting in some yard work before the first snowfall. Empty out any hoses or sprinkler systems completely and store them in the garage or shed. Because water expands when it freezes, sitting liquid can cause damage to these items if you neglect to ready them for the winter. Also, windbreaks can help block the cold winter wind and keep your home warmer.

DO A CHIMNEY SWEEP

If you have a chimney, it’s important to maintain it. Many people underestimate the severity of chimney fires, but these occur fairly frequently during the winter months, so seriously consider hiring a professional to clean your chimney.

CHECK THE FIREPLACE

If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. A fireplace damper, usually located in the chimney just above the fireplace, is a lid meant to seal your fireplace shut when it is not in use. This is necessary so that heated air from your home will not escape up the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. An open or broken damper that doesn’t close fully will increase your heating costs.

DUCT WORK

Don’t forget your ducts. Just because they’re out of sight, doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Make sure to properly seal and insulate your home’s ducts to significantly reduce your utility bills. Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Longer winter nights means less daylight, so make sure to inspect the lighting inside and outside your home. Because outdoor lights are typically left on for long periods of time, buying Energy Star products and bulbs to light your outdoor pathways or porches can save a lot of energy and help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night. In addition, be sure to decorate with LED holiday lights to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.

FAN REVERSAL

In the summertime a fan is a wonderful way to keep cool, but your fan can also help circulate warm air in the winter. When you reverse the direction of your fan, the fan will push warm air downward and re-circulate it through the room. To ensure your fan is spinning in the correct direction, set it so the blades are spinning clockwise when you look up.

For more news on everything related to the field of home inspections, please check out our blog. At Building Pro Inspections our goal is to give you the best possible inspection so you can make the best decision with confidence. We are fully insured, a member in good standing with HIABC, and all our inspections are performed in accordance with the CAHPI(BC) Standards of Practice. Contact us today to learn more.