Get Your Home Ready For Winter
It’s hard to believe winter is upon us again when it seems like it was just the 4th of July, but here it comes again! It’s important to get your home ready for winter, so a little planning and action now can prevent a major crisis later. Here are a few tips to have your home ready for winter.
Heating system check up
Make sure you have a service call scheduled with a professional technician for an inspection and tune up of your home’s heating system. If you have a hot air system, this should include changing all the air filters.
We love our fires here in New England! Hire an insured chimney sweep to clean your chimney and inspect your fireplace before you have any fires. This should be done every year when you are planning to get your home ready for winter.
Clean your gutters
Clean gutters are critical during the winter when there may be large amounts of snow and ice melting on your home. Make sure your gutters are clean and working properly, including water run off at and around the foundations. If you hire a company for this, make sure you get a copy of their insurance policy or ask their agent if they are covered for ladder work. Many landscapers may offer gutter cleaning but are not insured to go on ladders.
Change batteries in all smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarms
Have you ever noticed that the batteries on smoke detectors only die at 3 am? Who hasn’t been awakened by a loud chirp and had to change a battery in the middle of the night? More importantly, for your safety, keep the batteries fresh. Also, check any Carbon Monoxide detectors and make sure they have not reached their expiration date and that they are mounted at the correct height per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Exterior Faucets, showers, and irrigation
Another way to get your home ready for winter is to make sure you turn off exterior faucets and showers, drain the shower and take the valve inside for the winter, and have your irrigation company blow out all of the water in the system. This will protect all of these components from freezing and ensure they last a long time. Plus, you don’t want your hose faucet pipe to freeze and burst in your basement!
Inspect exterior exhaust pipes on heating system
With today’s newer direct vent and exhaust heating systems, the exhaust pipe is often close to the ground. If you have this type of system, inspect the exterior pipe and make sure it is free and clear from debris and plants. Also make sure you keep an eye on this during the winter to ensure it is NEVER covered with snow or ice. Every year we hear about deep snow covering these and causing CO poisoning and even death.
Empty fuel tanks in yard equipment
Make sure you drain or use up all of the gas in yard equipment such as lawn mowers, trimmers, etc. When gas freezes it can cause major problems in the machinery. Also, don’t store any gas over the winter in an unheated garage. (Don’t store gas inside your home either!)
Ice Dam Removal Company
Get under contract with an ice dam removal company now before it’s an emergency. As mentioned above with gutter cleaning companies, make sure the company you hire has insurance for this work which is often excluded from policies. Establish clear expectations of timing and scope of work during an ice dam event so you know what the crews will do and when they will do it.