You know what it means when your social media feed is suddenly inundated with pictures of pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, fall home décor, and apple picking. Not only is it time to welcome autumn with open arms—it’s also the perfect time to start prepping for the cold weather ahead. Here are some must-read prep tips for winterizing your home this season.
Schedule a furnace inspection
This is one of the most important home winterizing tips. It’s a good idea to call a professional to give your HVAC a once-over to ensure your system is in proper working order. Don’t forget to change the air filter, too!
Windows and doors
Depending on the age of your windows and doors, you may need to switch out screens for storm windows as you start winterizing your home. While you’re at it, check your window and door frames for any gaps. You can fill these with caulk and/or weather stripping to prevent heat loss. It’s also a good idea to invest in heavier curtains, which can keep additional heat inside.
Clean out the gutters
Leaving your gutters and drains clogged puts you at risk for ice dams and water damage. Grab a ladder and some gloves, and remove the debris that’s built up over the summer. Inspect your roof for any missing or damaged shingles. A handyman can replace these fairly cheaply, while a full-blown leak can cost a pretty penny. You can always hire a professional to clean your gutters if you don’t love this home winterization task, but you cannot risk leaving them as is.
Winterize your kitchen
We like to use the change in seasons as a reminder to give your kitchen an overhaul while you get the rest of your home ready for winter. Wash the curtains, dust lighting fixtures, clean out cupboards, and give the floors a good scrubbing. It’s also an ideal time to do annual maintenance on your kitchen appliances:
- Refrigerator: The best time to clean your refrigerator is right before you go grocery shopping. Remove all shelves and drawers and wash them with warm, soapy water. While they dry, clean the rest of the fridge with a wet rag or sponge and dishwashing liquid.
- Dishwasher: It’s easy to neglect cleaning an appliance whose job it is to clean. But dishwashers can get pretty dirty. Use baking soda to wipe down the interior; you can also run one dishwasher cycle without any dishes using distilled white vinegar instead of dish soap.
- Oven: If you’re lucky, your oven has a self-cleaning mode. Don’t forget to take your racks out ahead of time, since the heat can warp them. If you don’t have a self-cleaning option, you can use a baking soda and water paste as a natural cleaning solution.
Switch your ceiling fans to clockwise
Did you know most ceiling fans can change the direction in which the blade spins? In warmer months, the blades should spin counterclockwise, blowing a cool breeze downward. Switching the ceiling fan mode to “clockwise” produces a gentle updraft and will force the warm air near the ceiling down. Keeping your ceiling fans on a low speed while running clockwise allows you to turn your heat down a few degrees and can help contribute to energy cost savings.
Don’t forget to enjoy the winter months
While winter home preparation can seem intimidating, a little work can go a long way! Taking these steps will prepare your home for the increased amount of time you’ll be spending indoors, and it will also ensure your time there is warm and cozy.
This guest post was provided by hhgregg.