Preparing your home for winter can help save money and energy. Follow this simple checklist to get ready for the winter months.
Winter Season Checklist for Homeowners
As a general rule, if a home has less than 11 to 12 inches of insulation in the attic or crawlspace, it could probably use more. Use batting or blown insulation for best results. Check with your local hardware store to determine the proper R-value of insulation for your home.
Water heater and hot water pipes
Conserve heat and energy by swaddling your water heater with an insulation blanket kit or faced fiberglass insulation. Insulate hot water pipes with preformed foam pipe insulation sleeves if they pass through an unheated area or run under your home.
Remove screens and install storm windows.
Make sure the damper closes as tightly as possible when a fire is not burning to minimize heat loss.
Zip up your home's winter coat by caulking, sealing and weather-stripping around all seams, cracks and openings. Pay special attention around windows and where siding, bricks and wood trim meet. Seal areas near electrical boxes and plumbing penetrations as well.
Look for cracks or air leaks in ductwork and use duct tape to seal them.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Change forced air heating system air filters monthly. Make a clean break into winter with a fresh filter instead of using last year's used goods.
Air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators
Regularly dusting off these heat sources will improve the energy efficiency of your home.
To save energy during colder weather, activate the reverse setting on your ceiling fans to circulate hot air that rises to the ceiling and blow it back down.
Maintain Lawn and Garden
Fertilize grasses such as ryegrass, fescue, and bluegrass in or before early November.
Plant hardy bulbs in October, early November in milder zones.
Vegetable and perennial beds
Clean and prepare beds for next season's planting.
Rake and remove leaves left on the lawn to discourage disease.
Push mower, outdoor power equipment
Perform annual maintenance before storing.
Lawn and garden equipment, patio furniture
Store to avoid harsh winter elements and prolong life.
Hoses, outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems
Drain before season's first freeze to prevent cracking and prolong life.
Regularly clean and refill feeders for winters feathered friends.