When and How to Winterize Your Home

When and How to Winterize Your Home

Winter is coming.

Winter can bring a lot of stress and trouble if you don’t prep and protect your home from the elements. Here’s all you need to know about winterizing your home:

When to winterize your home

There’s no cut-off date to winterize your home, but you’ll probably want to do it well before the first official day of Winter (Dec. 21). In most places across the country, before the first of November is a safe bet.

How to do it

It doesn’t have to take up your whole weekend. Here are 10 ways to prepare your home for the onslaught of winter:

  1. Seal all windows and doors. Use caulk when appropriate, draft guards along doorways if the gap is big.
  2. Drain your air conditioning units. (This will save you money next summer, too.)
  3. Clean that chimney. A good rule of thumb: have it inspected annually.
  4. Clean all gutters. Leaves fall until December; make sure rain and snow can funnel off your roof to avoid any major leaks.
  5. Set your ceiling fans counterclockwise — no joke. This will push warm air down instead of up. Switch them in the spring.
  6. Fiberglass insulation is your best bet in the basement around doors and windows. Plus, it’s cheap; one roll will cost about $25.
  7. Cut down any weak or gangly tree branches, otherwise snow is bound to snap them.
  8. Replace (or thoroughly check) all carbon monoxide detectors. Risks are higher in the winter.
  9. Turn off all the water to hoses and disconnect them from outside faucets. That’s a bursting pipe just waiting to happen.
  10. Buy a big, sturdy shovel. You’ll be glad you did when the first snow rolls through.