Getting Your Home Winter Ready

 

It seems like colder weather is officially here to stay in Philadelphia. Morning commuters have traded in their short sleeve shirts and iced coffees for hot beverages, heavy coats and scarves. Diners have given up their favorite sidewalk table and are headed indoors for more cozy accommodations. With fall temperatures in full swing, now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the winter.

Seal Your Windows and Doors

Keep the warm air in and the cold air out! Windows and doors that are not properly sealed will have your HVAC system working overtime and, in turn, raise your home heating bill. Add or replace any worn weather stripping and caulk where you see any gaps. Be sure to check all entry points.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

As the temperature drops below the freezing point, pipes that are exposed in unheated areas of your home are at risk of bursting. Visit your local hardware store and ask for pipe insulators. They’re cheap, simple to install, and can potentially save you thousands of dollars this winter.

Assess Your Trees

Winter weather can put tremendous stress on your trees. Ice and snow add extra weight on already vulnerable limbs. Add in some fierce winds and you’re left with a recipe for winter mayhem. Trim back overgrown trees and branches, and remove those that hang over your home and vehicles. Whether you decide to hire a professional to assist, or believe you’re skilled enough to opt for a more DIY approach, be sure to perform a comprehensive assessment of the trees on your property prior to the winter season.

Clean Your Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your roof and home exterior. Target a seasonable weekend during the fall to inspect gutters and downspouts. Make sure each piece is properly connected and clear of any and all debris. Gutter cleaning may not be as exciting as watching the Eagles game on a Sunday but it is imperative to allow water to flow down and away from your home during winter months.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Fall is the perfect time to test your smoke detectors. Colder weather means many of us dust off our plug in heaters and have our furnaces and fireplaces working overtime. Set aside a few minutes to replace batteries and test that each smoke detector is working properly. If you have yet to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, consider picking one up as well.

Inspect Your Fireplace

Your home’s fireplace can be a real focal point during the cold winter months. Before you strike a match to the season’s first yule log, take some time to inspect the interior and exterior of your fireplace. Consider a chimney sweep service if there is considerable build-up of soot or ash, ensure that no animals have taken up refuge in your chimney and confirm that no warm air is escaping your home by closing your flue completely after each use.

Winter weather is on its way in our region. Whether you embrace the frigid forecast or are already longing for a simmering summer, we can all agree that getting your home winter ready now can help protect your finances in the future.