As we experience colder than normal temperatures for late October, we are reminded that it may be time to think about winterizing our homes. And unlike northern states, we typically don’t experience freezing temperatures until January or February. While I was prepared to keep mowing my lawn until next month, Mother Nature appears to have saved me the trouble, and I can begin to prepare for the dormant winter months. So outside and inside, here is the checklist I recommend:
- Turn off the outside water including the irrigation system by shutting off the inside cutoff valve for outside hose spigots and the irrigation system.
- Caulk windows to prevent cold air leaks and seal any exterior cracks. Change out screens for storm windows, if you have them.
- Put weatherstripping around doors and windows. And if your doorways seem drafty, place draft dodgers by them, which can usually be purchased at home improvement stores. Or if you prefer, you can make them by following the directions here.
- Change the filters on your furnace and consider having it serviced before the season really starts.
- Check your chimney. Place a screen or cap on the top to keep critters out. If you haven’t done it in a while, you might want to have your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep – and no, they probably don’t dance like in Mary Poppins.
- Make sure your damper opens and closes properly. Or if you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas line to your fireplace is working properly and shuts off and on.
- Clean your gutters with a hose (before you turn the outside water off). You might want to consider getting leaf guards to keep water away from your house.
You might want to also consider a home energy audit, as shown on the Department of Energy video below or a DIY energy audit as explained on their website. [small_button text=”DIY Energy Audit” title=”DIY Energy Audit” url=”http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/do-it-yourself-home-energy-audits” align=”left” target=”_self” style=”light”] .
Depending on your home and location, your list may contain more items. But it’s a great place to start.