Whether you just moved into a new home or you’ve been living in Central Massachusetts or the greater Sarasota area for a while, winter often comes with a slew of challenges for homeowners. Snow, ice, and cold weather can all bring trouble to your home and your energy bills. It’s important to stay ahead of the game by putting in the maintenance to prevent problems from occurring rather than dealing with catastrophes as they happen. Not sure where to begin? Here are 7 steps to winterize your home and comfortably enjoy the colder months.

1. Clean your Gutters 

Cleaning gutters is never a fun task, but it’s one of the most vital things you can do to get ready for winter. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can trap water from rain and snowmelt, causing ice dams. When the temperatures drop, the water turns into ice, which can make the gutters pull away from the house and result in overhead hazards.

2. Check Your Heating System 

You need to know if your heating system is working properly before winter. Your furnace is the center of a comfortable cold season. Therefore, treat it well by contacting a professional to conduct an annual check-up to ensure it stays in top-notch condition all season long. Your heating system specialist will clean the furnace to get rid of any dust which could affect its function, replace dirty or worn-out filters, and ensure the system is not circulating harmful air in your home.

3. Clean and Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit

For a small fee, you can have a certified technician inspect the state of your HVAC unit. They will ensure your air conditioning unit is safe and in good standing to achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. During the routine maintenance, your HVAC contractor will clean the unit and cover it appropriately to protect it from harsh winter conditions.

4. Insulate Any Exposed Water Pipes to Prevent Freezing

Frozen pipes are among the most common winter problems for homeowners. When it comes to winterizing your home, carrying out a full pipe check should high on your priority list. Even a little ice inside a pipe can result in pressure buildup and eventual backflow or bursting. To winterize pipes, take a walk around your home, both the exterior and the interior, and examine all visible pipes. If you notice any cracks around the joints or slits, seal them up using aluminum tape or caulk.

5. Seal Your Doors and Windows

Installing a storm door can improve your home's energy efficiency by as much as 45%, and the same applies to storm windows. Consider plastic sheet insulation you can install in minutes, often adhering to position by using a blow dryer. Weatherstripping is probably the cheapest way to save a lot of money in winter. For external doors, install the strips on both the door and the jam for the tightest fit and install a sweep at the bottom. For windows, put rubber or foam strips on the bottom and top edges and seal both sides with removable strips.

6. Check the State of Your Home's Insulation

The heat you pump into your home during winter rises up your attic. If you don’t take the time to winterize the attic, the heat will rise right up and out of your home. To prevent this from happening, inspect your attic and look around to ensure it’s properly insulated. Depending on how you feel up there, you’ll easily tell if your attic is properly insulated or not. Improve the insulation as needed and weatherstrip any dormer windows, doors, or openings leading from your attic to the interior of your home. 

7. Have Your Roof Inspected to Ensure it Can Handle the Stress of Winter

Budgeting a small amount of money for roof maintenance or simple patchworks could be enough to get your roof through winter unscathed by troublesome leaks. At the very least, you’ll want to call your local roofing contractor to carry out a thorough roof inspection and determine if something needs to be done before winter creeps in. When any problem is noticed, it can be repaired on time to save you a lot of headaches later on. Look out for loose, damaged, or missing shingles and fix them right away to avoid any potential leaks. It typically takes a few steps to winterize your home. However, the payoff is always worth the time and investment in terms of preventing costly damages, improving comfort, and enhancing energy efficiency. On the bright side, the process can become a whole lot easier once you make it a routine every year. If you’re not sure of the process, always work with a reputable local contractor to winterize your home annually. Red Dogs Roofing in Central Massachusetts and the greater Sarasota area can help you winterize your home and save money. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate!