Compared to all of the other fall to-dos out there—baking apples, shopping for sweaters, and carving pumpkins—winterizing your home doesn’t sound all that thrilling. However, if you take a few preventive steps now, you’ll save yourself money and avoid hassles down the road and, well, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Get started with this checklist of things you can do to winterize your home:
1. Unhook outdoor hoses before temperatures drop below freezing
Let hoses drain, and store them away for the winter. If a hose is left attached to the spigot, the water inside could freeze and cause the spigot to burst.
2. Check windows and exterior doors for drafts
Caulk any leaks in your window and door frames. Examine exterior doors and their thresholds (the flap at the bottom that creates a seal when the door is closed) and replace any that are cracked or damaged.
3. Clean out the gutters
Scoop out leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clean gutters will allow rain and melting snow to flow away from the house.
4. Schedule a furnace tune up
A technician can examine the electrical components, thermostat, air flow, and more to make sure your furnace is heating your home correctly and efficiently. Expect to pay about $100 to $150 for a tune up.
At the very least, turn on your furnace before you need it to test that it works. Also, be sure to change the air filter in the furnace regularly throughout the winter.
5. Make sure the attic is properly insulated
This is the single biggest thing you can do to save money on energy costs and keep your home feeling warm this winter. Heat rises, so you're probably losing heat through the roof if your attic is poorly insulated. Have a heating or insulation expert check things out. To find a reputable business, check with the Better Business Bureau.