Preparing your Home for the Winter in 13 Easy Steps
Ensure your windows and doors are air- and watertight
Replace damaged caulking and/or weather-strips. Adding an insulation film on your windows and properly weather-stripping your doors will block air and water from coming in.
Clean your electric baseboards
Avoid unpleasant odors when turning on your heaters for the first time in months. They can potentially be toxic to your health.
Test your smoke and CO detectors
Unless it's time to change the detectors, replace their batteries. Smoke alarms have a 10-year lifespan, whereas Carbon Monoxide detectors have a 5-year lifespan.
Assess the attic’s condition
Make sure there is no water infiltration and that soffits are clear from obstruction.
Ensure your HVAC is working properly
Replace or clean the air filters. It is recommended to do so every 3 months.
Prepare your fireplace
If you have a gas-powered fireplace, light your pilot light. And, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, get your chimney swept.
Verify the state of your gutters
Ensure nothing is blocking your gutters from working properly.
Examine the state of your roof
If it seems damaged and needing repairs, consult a roofing contractor.
Close your water valves leading to outdoor faucets
Open your outdoor faucet to let all excess water out.
Assess the state of your foundation and/or masonry walls
Ensure there are no obvious cracks or other damages that can cause water infiltration.
Make sure your stairway railings are stable
They should be properly bolted into the ground or wall.
Check whether tree branches can collapse onto electrical wires due to excess snow
Contact a pruner if you believe this may happen.
Make sure your outdoor lighting system works properly
Replace all burnt light bulbs and ensure your motion detectors and timers are properly set up.