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Winterization 101

Welcome to Winterization 101 where you’ll discover that the daunting task of preparing your home for winter is actually accomplishable! With the proper planning and our nifty Winterization Checklist below, you will be able to get these important tasks out of the way and spend the rest of the year enjoying the holidays!

Get your home ready for winter with this 10-point checklist:

1. Change furnace filters and create a schedule to stay on track throughout the year.

2. Get your furnace and thermostat inspected. If there is anything wrong with your heating system, you want to find out now while the weather is comfortable and you have plenty of time to address it.

3. Remove the covers off your ducts and shine a flashlight inside. If the dirt is “excessive” or you see signs of mold or pests, get them cleaned. If all looks clear, the EPA says you don’t have to clean ducts every year. While you’re at it, clean your dryer vents. Failure to clean dryer vents could lead to 34 percent of dryer fires according to FEMA.

4. Outside of your home– rake away leaves, limbs and other debris that could provide shelter for rodents, insects and other unwanted guests. Make sure foundation vent covers and doors to your crawlspace are intact and tightly sealed.

5. Check your exterior walls, windows and doors for gaps, loose connections or inadequate seals. Attend to those with caulk or expanding foam; make repairs as needed. Rake up debris from around your daylight basement windows, where it could damage the seal. Put a cover on your A/C unit. Cut back encroaching tree branches.

6. Examine the weather stripping around your doors and windows. Does it need replacement?

7. Detach your garden hoses, drain them and put them away. Fasten faucet-protectors on the exterior faucets. If possible, turn off the water source to outside faucets that won’t be in use during the winter.

8. Got sprinklers? Turn off and drain those systems as well.

9. Be sure that your roof is clear of moss, dirt and debris. Clear out the gutters and downspouts. Check the chimney, if you’ve got one, for animals or build-up. Any loose or missing shingles? Plan to get those fixed. Roofs are quite slippery once the rain starts, so hire an expert for these tasks if possible.

10. Make sure your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are in good working order, and replace batteries where needed.

With a little effort, you can look forward to a comfortable, uneventful winter. And while you’re at it, find out if your homeowners insurance is efficient as well. Ask us for a complimentary insurance review and quote.


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