Winter is fast approaching, and there is lots to be done in preparation. For example, you’ll need to prepare your wardrobe and get ready to bundle up. Move your sweaters, jackets, and fleeces to the front of the closet and send those shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits to the back. Much like your wardrobe, your home needs to be ready for the snowfall and frigid temperatures of winter. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to make sure your household is ready for the upcoming snow and colder temperatures. Read below to learn more! 

1. Insulation

In preparation for winter, make sure your home is properly insulated. An energy assessment conducted by a homeowner or professional home energy auditor can determine your home’s insulation. Adding insulation to your home or enhancing existing insulation provides many benefits. 

For example, a properly insulated home prevents air produced by your HVAC system from escaping while also keeping outside air from entering. Insulation keeps your home at a consistently comfortable temperature and directly lowers your energy bill by reducing waste from your air conditioner. Insulation not only helps during the winter, but during the summer because properly insulated homes prevent cool air from escaping. 

You should also insulate your windows before the winter, as cold air can easily enter your home through “leaky” or loose windows. Caulk, window insulation film, foam tape, or other sealants are the best options to insulate windows, but you can also use blinds, curtains, or awnings. However, be careful if you opt to use awnings during the winter because they could collapse under pressure from snowfall. 

2. Check the Roof 

Next, have your roof examined before winter. As your home’s first line of defense against the elements, it must be ready to withstand the heavy snowfall and precipitation of winter. Roofing contractors can inspect your roof and determine if there are any problems such as overhanging tree limbs or potential leaks. Water needs to slide smoothly off your roof, so there cannot be any broken shingles or snow guards. 

3. Clean the Gutters 

You should also have your gutters inspected and cleaned. Leaves, twigs, sticks, and other debris build up throughout the year, which causes clogged or sagging gutters. This prevents water from properly flowing off your home and directly causes leaks, water damage, and costly repairs in the future. Your gutters could also sag or fall from your home entirely, so make sure they’re cleaned out and ready for winter!

4. Snow Removal Equipment

You should also make sure you have the proper equipment to handle the first snowfall of the year. Snow shovels, snow blowers, and ice scrapers are all necessities if you live somewhere that deals with frequent snowstorms. Many also keep miniature snow shovels and ice scrapers in their car in case they are needed away from home. You don’t want to be stranded at home because you can’t shovel your driveway, so plan ahead! 

5. Check Your Heating System 

During the winter, your home should be warm and comfortable while providing an escape from the frigid temperatures and blustering winds. Check on your home’s heating system and complete any maintenance or installation before the temperatures drop.  If you want to upgrade your heating system for the winter, two excellent options are ductless mini splits and radiant heating systems. 

Ductless mini splits have recently seen a popularity increase throughout the HVAC world, and for good reason. They offer a variety of benefits over other systems such as ducted central systems and window air conditioners. For example, their high levels of efficiency lead to significant decreases in energy bills. They are also very versatile, as they possess both heating and cooling capabilities, which makes them excellent HVAC options all year round. 

Additionally, they filter and purify the air during operation. Caring for and maintaining a mini split is also very simple. They require annual or bi-annual inspections, depending on their usage level, and filters must be changed every four to six weeks. 

Mini splits are available in single and multi-zone systems. A single zone system consists of one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit, which allows you to control the temperature in the area where the indoor unit is physically located. Multi-zone systems have multiple indoor units spread throughout different areas, rooms, or levels connected to the same outdoor unit. You can control each zone without impacting the others. This is ideal in the winter time if you want some rooms of the house to be warmer or cooler than others!

Radiant heating is another way to keep your home warm this winter. Through infrared heating, a cloth installed under the ceiling or floors warms the objects in the room rather than the room itself. The heat is then transferred to the room’s occupants. Radiant heating has many benefits, as it is highly efficient and significantly decreases your energy bill. It also deters mold and mildew growth in your home.

6. Reverse Ceiling Fans

You should also reverse your ceiling fans for the winter. During the warmer months, fans should run counter-clockwise to force air down and create a chilling effect. During the winter, fans should run clockwise to draw cooler air up and force warmer air down. This increases the temperature without putting extra stress on your HVAC system. 

7. Chimney Inspections

Relaxing by the fireplace is a staple of wintertime, but you must take necessary precautions. Before lighting the first fire of the season, make sure you schedule a chimney inspection. Annual chimney inspections help determine the condition of your chimney, fireplace, and masonry while significantly reducing your risk of fire. These inspections must be conducted by professionals, but it is very simple to find a chimney sweep in your area by using the internet. 

In conclusion, there are several simple yet very important steps homeowners must take in preparation for the colder months. With this guide, your home will be ready for winter in no time! 

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