Winter is Coming: 5 Important Things You Need to Remember To Do

When winter is nearing, there are specific home tasks you should complete before temperatures drop or the first winter storm hits. Putting these tasks off can mean reduced energy efficiency, at the least, or damage to your property. Here are five things to remember to do.

Seal Air Leaks
Even if you winterized your home last year, new cracks and gaps can appear around doors and window frames and other common areas for air leaks, such as around plumbing pipes and in the foundation. Replace old weather stripping or old caulk and make certain your home won’t be losing heated air through gaps. Even small breaches can add up in terms of energy efficiency and will affect your heating costs. If you have a forced air furnace, now is also the time to check the ductwork for cracks, gaps and other damage that could reduce your heater’s efficiency.

Have Your Heating System Serviced
Your home’s HVAC system needs to be checked biannually, preferably in the fall and winter. It is best to have your heating checked by professionals like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co. before you need to use it. This helps to make sure it will run safely and efficiently. During a professional service visit, a technician will look at the components, change the filter, and perform cleaning and repairs as necessary.

Tend to Your Irrigation System
Remember to drain and store water hoses. When water freezes, it expands. This can damage water hoses left out in the elements. Make sure to drain them completely and store them inside. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, water needs to be purged from these before freezing temperatures arrive or your irrigation lines can freeze and burst. Contact your irrigation contractor for a system purge and check.

Clean Your Gutters
Rain and snow can quickly overwhelm gutters that are already filled with debris. This causes moisture problems when the fluid floods over the gutters and onto the roof or exterior walls. Heavy moisture in these areas sets the stage for mold, wood rot and other problems that can damage your home’s structure. Remove all debris from gutters and make sure they are securely attached to the home.

Reverse Ceiling Fan Blade Direction
Many people stop using their ceiling fans in fall and winter because they do not know that ceiling fans can help warm the home. The winter blade direction operates on the principle that heat rises, and it pushes warmed air downward, which keeps the room warmer.

These winter steps should be done every year. For many people, it is helpful to choose specific dates for each task and to write this on a calendar. The weather is not always predictable, so the dates may change. However, by making a note to yourself you can help ensure that these important tasks will be done before the cold sets in.

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