A lot of wonderful things happen in the winter like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. However, it is also the coldest time of the year, and when you’re not well-prepared beforehand, it could be the most miserable three months of your life. As the end of fall draws near and winter sets in, there are certain things that you can do as a homeowner to ensure that your home and yard are comfortable to live in and prepared for the nasty weather. Here are some of the most important ways to get your home ready for the winter.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Maintenance
The state that your HVAC system is in when getting into the winter is what will determine how habitable your house will be throughout the season. To make sure that everything is functioning properly when the season sets in you should take care of the following:
- Have the furnace professionally serviced: Furnace servicing ahead of the winter should include checking to make sure that the thermostat is working and that the gas supply system does not have any leaks. Entering winter with a faulty furnace could mean very cold nights or even worse, broken water pipes resulting in tons of damage.
- Inspect the doors and windows for leaks: Another important step you should take to make sure that your home is winter ready is checking your doors and windows for signs that they could be poorly insulated. The best way is to call in an expert to do thermal imaging. Any leaking parts should be repaired and insulated again to reduce heat loss and maximize the efficiency of the heating system.
- Sweep the chimney: Fireplaces are rarely used when the weather is bearable, which means that most people do not even realize there is a buildup of creosote in their chimneys till the winter. Cleaning the chimney will protect your home from fires and also smoke and carbon dioxide poisoning.
The roof is one of the most important factors in determining how safe your home and you as the occupants are during the cold of the winter months. Start by inspecting the roofing material to make sure that there are no leaks or other damages. If there are areas which are old and leaking, seek to have them repaired or replaced by an expert. Make sure that you check the flashing and all other components to ensure that they are in excellent condition ahead of the winter. The second component of the roof to look at is the gutters. Have them cleaned and if any are ruined, repair or replace them. Blocked gutters lead to water damage and ice dams when left that way during the winter.
Maintaining The Outdoors
There will be snow accumulation in your driveway, in front of the garage door, and everywhere else outside of your home. A snowblower will be your best friend in managing the thickness of the snow and making sure that your driveway is clear. Here are some of the most useful tips that you need when shopping for a snowblower:
- Pick the right size: snowblowers come in a variety of sizes from big to small. The size of your yard is what determines which size will be right for you. If you have a big yard, a small blower will keep you working for hours before you can clear everything, and it might not stand up to large amounts of snowfall. Get the dimensions of your yard before getting a blower.
- Know your terrain: not many people think about the steepness or flatness of their backyards when investing in a blower. You need to pick a snowblower that works effectively regardless of the slope.
- How much snow to expect: there are some blowers that only have enough power to deal with little to moderate snow build up. If you try to use these for areas that have heavy snowfall, they will keep breaking down. Consider the maximum snow depth that your yard is expected to get before investing in a blower.
There are actually quite a few factors that you want to consider when purchasing a snow blower for your yard, and this is just the beginning. You can check out BSBR’s buying guide for more helpful tips and breakdowns of some of the best snow blowers out there. If the timing is right, you may even want to consider buying offseason, as you can often get great deals. Just make sure that you get a snow blower that can handle whatever your climate throws at it, the last thing you want is a snow blower that’s undersized. Your back will thank you.
If you decide to buy a used snow blower, make sure that you have it serviced and oiled as soon as you get it home. Try starting the snowblower several times to see whether it starts with ease because a snowblower that is difficult to start can become a serious pain every winter morning.