December is here, and while winter doesn’t officially start until the 21st, it’s in full swing in some parts of the country. If you’ve lived in a colder climate most of your life, it may be routine to prepare your home for winter. However, if you just recently moved from a more temperate climate, you may not be aware of how to make your home winter-ready. Here are a few steps you should take when preparing your new home for the winter.
1. Check the Window Insulation
Aside from the cold air poorly insulated windows will allow in your house, the extra heating could jack up your energy bill. The more cold air that enters your house, the more energy it will take to heat the home. There are a few ways to check to see if your windows are properly insulated. First, run your fingers along the seam between the window itself and the frame. If you can feel any cracks, spaces, or holes, your insulation will need to be replaced. Another way to check window insulation is to knock on the glass. If you hear a rattling sound, the window may not be properly insulated.
2. Check the Plumbing
There’s nothing worse than a pipe bursting. If you have a new home, it is highly recommended to have a plumber come inspect the piping. An experienced plumber will make sure that every pipe in your home is fully prepared for the winter. Once the winter has begun, be sure to keep track of the temperature. On nights when the temperature could fall below 20°F, it is a smart idea to turn a faucet on to a slow drip. That way, even if some water freezes, the pipes will not burst.
3. Monitor the Thermostat
Heating up your home in the winter can run up quite the energy bill. To save during the colder months, make sure you moderate the temperature in the home. If you know you’re going to be away from the house for an extended period of time, put the thermostat down to 60°F. That way, you won’t be spending an absurd amount to heat the home while you’re away. If you have children, be sure to tell them never to touch the thermostat.
4. Buy a Shovel or Snowblower
If you’re new to a colder climate, you may have never used a snow shovel or blower. Within a few days of living in a snowy climate, you’ll see these items as necessities. Keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow is not only important for aesthetics, but also safety. Despite the cold weather, your neighbors will still use the sidewalk to take personal walks or get their pets some exercise. If you let the snow pile up on your sidewalks and driveway, don’t be surprised to receive a knock or phone call from a neighbor.
5. Winterize the Yard
Unfortunately, living in a colder climate will bring more yard work. Ignoring yard work before winter could lead to a disastrous spring. First off, it is critical to keep as many leaves off your lawn as possible. Leaves will cover up grass and prevent the absorption of sunlight. Secondly, place a winterizing fertilizer on your lawn. The winterizing fertilizer will assure that your lawn remains nutrient-rich throughout the winter. Lastly, avoid mowing your lawn between Thanksgiving and the beginning of spring. Grass goes into a dormant state during the winter and will not grow at its normal rate. To find out more about winterizing your yard, check out this blog from the Spruce.
Preparing your home for the winter can be a burden. However, neglecting to take these steps could lead to a disaster. If you want your new home to come through the winter as good as new, be sure to follow these tips before the snow arrives!