Important Steps To Prepare Your Home for Winter
Michigan residents are no strangers to the harsh winters that can sweep through the state. They know to clean gutters to prevent ice dams and keep faucets running at a drip in subzero temperatures to prevent pipes from freezing.
But there are a few other things that even Michigan residents might forget when the seasons are about to change. Remember these important steps to prepare your home for winter.
Re-caulk Window and Door Frames
Over time, the seals around windows and doors can break down, leading to drafts that let in cold air and drive up your heating bill. To prevent this, take some time to inspect the caulk around the exterior of your windows and doors and replace any that has visible cracks or wear with silicone caulk rated for exterior use. This will help keep your home warm and energy efficient throughout the winter months.
Use Up the Gas in Your Lawn Mower
Drain fuel from small engines. Gasoline can break down over time, which makes it harder to start engines like lawn mowers and leaf blowers. To avoid this problem, drain the fuel from any small engines you won't be using during the winter months. You can also add a fuel stabilizer to help keep the gas fresh if you decide to leave it in the engine.
Put the Hoses Away
Detach outdoor hoses from exterior spigots. Water left inside outdoor hoses can freeze and expand, cause damage to the hose and the spigot. Before the temperature drops below freezing, disconnect garden hoses and drain any remaining water out of them. This will help keep them in good shape for next spring.
If you’ve switched to electric lawn equipment, remember that it's important to safely store your lithium-ion batteries during the winter months to protect their performance and longevity. To ensure safety during storage, remove the batteries from the equipment and place them in a dry, cool (but not freezing) place. Make sure the batteries never touch each other or other metal objects.
Check your owner’s manual for instructions about what charge to maintain over long periods when you won’t be using your tools. Many advise keeping the batteries at about 40-percent charge through the winter.
Call the Chimney Sweep
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, you must have your chimney cleaned before using it for the first time each winter. Creosote, a byproduct of burning wood, can build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard if left unchecked. A professional chimney sweep can clear away any buildup and ensure your chimney is safe to use.
Arrange Seasonal Maintenance for Your HVAC System
Your heating system is going to be working hard during the winter months, so it's essential to have a professional checked it before the weather becomes too cold. A certified technician can perform essential HVAC seasonal maintenance to make sure that it runs efficiently, which will help keep your energy bills in check.
Preparing your home for winter takes some effort, but it's well worth it when you consider the benefits. By taking these six steps, you'll be able to stay warm and comfortable all season long while avoiding costly repairs and energy bills. So take the time to get your home ready for winter and enjoy the cozy season ahead.