Midwest winters mean months of cold, snow and ice. Preparing your home to withstand those frigid temperatures is a very important task to keep you and your family safe and warm.
We’ve created a helpful checklist of tasks for both inside and outside your home so you can be sure you’re ready to greet the winter prepared.
Inside To Do’s
- Inspect your home’s heating system. Many heating and cooling companies provide fall tune-ups or general maintenance calls if you’d prefer to trust this task to a professional.
- Protect your pipes from freezing. You can install pipe insulation, apply electrical heating tape to pipes, seal any cracks and make sure your crawlspace is sealed. Other ways to maintain a more consistently warm temperature throughout your home is to keep your garage door closed, keep interior doors open, and keep your thermostat to at least 55 degrees F when you’re not home.
- Helpful tip: On particularly cold nights, your pipes might benefit from open cabinet doors. Before you go to bed, open any cabinets beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate.
- Insulate your attic. Many homes in the United States lack insulation in the attic, which allows warm air to escape. This makes your furnace work harder and decreases the comfort inside your home.
- Inspect doors, windows, crawlspaces and more for air leaks. Seal as needed.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (replace batteries as needed).
- Check weatherstripping around all windows and doors and replace any if necessary.
- Replace screen doors with storm doors.
- Check around windows and doors for drafts and caulk if needed.
- Clear or replace air filter in furnace.
- Switch all ceiling fans to reverse or clockwise position to blow warm air down and increase efficiency.
Outside To Do’s
- Clean all gutters from leaves and other debris.
- Drain outside faucets and store all hoses in garage or shed.
- Move snowblower and show shovel to front of garage for easy access.
- Make sure your home’s exterior lights are in good working order. This can help people better see walkways and steps and help eliminate slips and falls.
- Throughout the winter, keep your driveway and any walkways clear of snow and ice.
- Never leave wood stoves or space heaters unattended!
- Make sure you have salt or ice melt on hand.