Fall is more than cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and Halloween Costumes. It’s also an important time for homeowners to make sure the house is in good shape for winter weather. There’s a lot you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape this fall.
Use this checklist to help you get your house ready for winter. If you have big home improvement projects ahead of you, a Home Equity Line of Credit might be the perfect tool to help.
- Seal Gaps and Update Insulation: Check weather stripping around all doors, windows and garage doors. Replace as needed.
- Check for Leaks: Air leaks in the attic can make the rest of your insulation useless. Find and seal any leaks with foam insulation. Remember, your attic should have vents to release condensation – don’t seal your attic vents.
- Swap out Curtains: switch your sheer summer window covers for thicker, insulated options to keep more heat from leaking out.
- Insulate Pipes: Your attic or basement plumbing can freeze when the weather gets truly cold. Wrap exposed plumbing pipes in foam insulation tubes to keep them cozy.
- Window Upgrade: This is a bigger project, but worthwhile. If your house still has single-pane windows, get professional help and upgrade to a better-insulated option.
- Furnace Tune-Up: Get a professional in to keep your furnace running cleanly. Replace any old filters, open heater vents in the rooms you use, and make sure vents are clear of furniture and other blockages.
- Prep the Fireplace: A dirty fireplace can lead to house fires and unhealthy air. Get a professional to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney for the season before you start using it.
- Switch your ceiling fan direction to turn counter-clockwise and push warm air back down into the room.
- Hibernate Outdoor AC Units: Clean and cover to protect form winter weather. Don’t do this with heat pump models, which should not be covered.
- Upgrade the Thermostat: A smart thermostat can learn your habits and save you money on heating this winter. NV Energy’s Powershift program gives customers up to 4 smart thermostats for free!
- Upgrade your Furnace to natural-gas or other fuel-efficient models
Clean and Protect
- Clean carpets: Give your rugs a good shampoo to get rid of summer dirt. Do this before it gets too cold since you’ll want the windows open.
- Seal wood floors and stairs to prevent snow and water damage
- Update inefficient appliances: Your kitchen appliances could do with an upgrade before the holiday cooking season, and nothing improves your winter mood quite as much as a good water heater for hot showers.
Lawn & Garden
- Mulch your perennial garden beds to protect the soil and keep roots safe.
- Clean up summer tools: Your lawnmower and other summer tools should be cleaned of dirt and grime and stored for next season
- Winterize Irrigation: You should keep watering bushes and trees until the ground freezes up. Once that happens, it’s time to put your irrigation system to bed for the winter. Blow out drip lines and sprinklers, drain and store hoses, and shut off any exterior faucets you can. Replace exterior faucets with frost-proof versions to prevent freezing.
- Aerate Your Lawn and Garden Beds
- Fertilize trees, shrubs, and perennial fruit and flowers
- Clean and Seal your Wood Deck to prevent damage from winter weather
- Clean and Cover your Grill
- Treat and Inspect Your Hot Tub: Prep the hot tub for winter relaxation. Give it a full cleaning if needed, and treat the water several days before using.
- Repaint the House: Protect your siding by touching up any weather-worn paint sections. Consider stripping and repainting the whole house if necessary – you may want a pro for this job.
- Roof Repair: Check for and fix any leaks before the first snowfall.
- Clean, Repair, and protect Gutters. Install mesh guards to prevent blockages. Make sure your downspouts are in place and draining away from your foundation.
- Repair Driveways and Walks: Cracked cement and crumbling asphalt make winter cleanup even worse, and the winter freeze-thaw cycle can worsen existing cracks. Consider a professional repair and seal job to keep your driveway from deteriorating.