Getting Your Home Winter Ready
When people feel the first warm breezes in early spring, they open their windows and rally the troops for a deep spring cleaning. It’s a great way to freshen up the house after spending a long winter trapped inside. Once the air starts to chill, it’s time again to perform another thorough cleaning to prepare for the cold months ahead where the majority of your time will be spent indoors, avoiding the cold and being with family during the holidays. Like spring cleaning, winter cleaning is about renewal and ensuring that both your family and home are prepared for the long months ahead. Since you will be spending most of your time staying warm in the coming months, there are easy steps you can take to make sure your home is comfortable, organized, and energy efficient.
This is a great opportunity to get to those tasks which were forgotten during the spring and fall cleaning. The first thing you may want to tackle is the bedroom. This is a good time to clean the mattresses and wash all the bedding, including all your blankets and comforters. It is also a good idea to have all your carpets cleaned to remove all the sand, dirt, and other yard debris which may have found its way inside during the fall months. It is also smart to clean all your windows while the weather permits. This means washing them inside and out, and even between the sills.
Before you seal up the house, you should make sure to clean it from top to bottom, placing more emphasis on public areas with heavy foot traffic, such as the living room, entry way, kitchen, and bathrooms. With cold weather, bugs are more likely to find their way inside and leave cobwebs and carcasses throughout your home. You should also start to use your quality vacuum for your home that you’ve had stored away. This means attacking all the drapes, window treatments, upholstered furniture, baseboards, and all the other dark corners of your house. Make sure you move the furniture to reach underneath and behind it, even in areas that aren’t usually visible. It is also a good time to pull the refrigerator away from the wall to vacuum the condenser coils.
Before the holidays, you want to be sure your furnace is ready, if you haven’t checked it already. Give it a close evaluation and change the filters if needed. If your home has a fireplace, be sure to check the flue and have it cleaned if you have a wood burning fireplace. These preparations are also a great time to have your air ducts cleaned to ensure the air quality during the cold winter months.
One of the most important tasks is cleaning out the gutters. When cold weather is upon us, if you haven’t removed the debris from your gutters, it can cause “ice damming” which can ruin your roof. If you end up with “ice damming” on your roof call Style by Carden Roofing to help fix any damage that may have happened. Other precautions against ice and snow include covering the air conditioning unit, storing outdoor equipment (furniture, umbrellas, grills, toys, etc.), draining and storing all garden hoses, ensuring sprinkler systems are free of water, and installing insulated covers for outdoor spigots.
Energy Saving Tips
Heating bills can become extremely costly in the winter months, so there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your house. Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may want to invest in new windows which greatly reduce energy costs. If this is out of your budget, you should caulk around doors and windows to seal up your home. In newer houses, this may not be required but you should still check door sweeps and weather stripping. You can also insulate and wrap your pipes to prevent damage and reduce your energy bills. It is also advisable to check the insulation in the attic and add more if necessary.
Billy Greenwald is interested in home maintenance and DIY projects.