Temperatures are dropping and many years we’ve even had snow in Durango by late October, which means it’s incredibly important to ensure your home is ready for winter. Every late fall we like to send a reminder to our clients with some tips for winter home preparation.
Remove hose from spigot. We remind our clients of this every year, but the importance cannot be overstated. When hoses are attached and freezing temperatures occur, frozen water can expand and crack the faucet or pipes. In fact, turning off exterior faucets completely, and draining any water from outside pipes and valves would be beneficial. Also, Turn Off Outside Sprinklers. Now that you won’t need to water grass and lawns, be sure to take this step.
Clean gutters: As leaves drop this fall, keep gutters free of debris. By allowing water to flow through the gutters, you minimize the potential for ice to build up. Gutters are important to keep the flow of water away from the foundation of the home. Winter brings additional water flow, which makes this a crucial step for home maintenance.
Prepare your Chimney: Be sure your chimney is safe and ready for use. A professional chimney sweeper can sweep it to remove soot and debris. It is also important to check for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. By placing a cap on the chimney, you can prevent animals and debris from entering.
Change furnace filters: Energy Star recommends checking your air filter every month, and changing filters at a minimum of every 3 months. If filters get dirty, they slow air flow and cause the furnace to work harder (https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/heating_cooling#targetText=Check%20your%20filter%20every%20month,warm%20or%20cool%20%E2%80%94%20wasting%20energy.)
They also recommend sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts to improve efficiency.
Seal Windows and Doors: It’s the right time to seal windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. If there are drafts exiting the house, you’ll waste energy and your home will not stay as warm, and your heating bill will escalate.
A few simple winter preparation steps can save hassle and money. These tips are for clients who live in their homes all winter. If your home is a second home or vacation home and sits vacant for much of the winter, there are some additional steps we will cover in our communication next week. As always, we are available for any questions you may have.