12 Things To Check Off Your List Before Winter Comes
If you live somewhere with cold, snowy winters like I do, you already know there are certain things you need to take care of both in and outside of your home to prepare for winter. Depending on the age of your home, this list may be bigger for some than for others. Regardless, it’s important to go through the following list of preparatory tasks to ensure your home stays warm, dry, and safe this winter.
1. Disconnect Garden Hoses
Before the freezing temperatures hit, you’ll want to ensure you disconnect your garden hoses. If you leave them attached, water can pool in the hose, freeze, and burst (including bursting the spigot).
2. Cover Your AC Unit
Experts don’t recommend covering the perimeter of an AC unit over the winter as this can lead to condensation and rust inside the unit. However, it’s a good idea to put a piece of plywood on the top of the unit to prevent the fan from being damaged.
3. Replace Furnace Filters
If your home runs on an HVAC system, before and after winter is the perfect time to replace your furnace filters. You might be amazed at how dirty they can become!
4. Prep The Lawnmower
To prep lawnmowers and anything else with a small engine motor before winter, you’ll want to drain the fuel and remove the battery. For more detailed instructions, click here.
5. Clean The Gutters
When the trees shed their leaves in the fall, many of these leaves (and some branches) will likely end up in your gutters. Be sure to check and clean your gutters prior to winter so snow and water can drain away from your home.
6. Test Smoke Alarms
Before we turn on our heating systems and fireplaces at the start of winter, be sure to do a thorough test of your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
7. Clean Out The Chimney
Speaking of fireplaces, if you have one in your home, be sure to have your chimney checked and cleaned out (or have a professional do it!) prior to running it over the winter.
8. Dig Out Snow Equipment
Every year, we make the mistake of not digging out our snow removal equipment before we get the first big snow. Fall is a good time to locate your snow shovels, vehicle snow brushes, and snowblower, and have them easily accessible for the first time you’ll need them!
9. Store Patio Furniture
If you have outdoor patio furniture, store it away somewhere dry before the snow hits. If you don’t have space to store it indoors, you can wait for a sunny, dry day before covering it with a tarp or special patio furniture cover.
10. Do A Tree Check
It’s a good idea to do a tree check on your property before winter. Ensure that any branches close to your home won’t potentially scrape against your roof or windows during a winter storm.
11. Stock Up On Firewood
If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, it never hurts to stock up on firewood before the freezing temperatures hit! Stocking up before winter also means you can stack and store it somewhere dry.
12. Prep For Winter Storms
If you live somewhere with cold, snowy winters, it’s good to be prepared in the event that a winter storm causes a power outage. Do you have a backup heating source? Generator? Bottled water and non-perishable food items to get you through an outage? Extra gas on hand? Lanterns, candles, matches, and flashlights? I recommend running through this list in the (hopefully unlikely) event that you may need these supplies.
Winter isn’t always everyone’s favorite season, but adequately preparing before the snow and cold weather hits can make it far more enjoyable. Bundle up and get to it!