In the winter, keeping the cold out and the heat in is everything. For many busy homeowners, it can be easy to overlook a few simple preventive maintenance tasks before cold weather sets in. Doing so can reduce the risk of home damage and help maximize energy efficiency. So before frigid temperatures are here for good, you can use this list to make sure your house is shipshape.
Check for exterior gaps and cracks
Take a walk around the exterior of your home. Get up close and inspect the windows, the siding and the doorways to check for cracks or gaps that need fixing and caulking. Plugging the gaps and making necessary repairs can help you keep the cold out. Because the freeze-thaw cycle can exacerbate these gaps, you'll want to get ahead of that damaging cycle and fix these today.
Check your attic insulation
Heat rises, and the layers of insulation are an important barrier between you and the cold. The more the insulation settles, the less effective it is. So if it's been a few years, take a peek at the upstairs crawl space. If it's sunken below the floor joists, it may be time to replace it. While you're up there, take a flashlight and check the roof and joists for signs of leaks, rot and popped nails.
Give your heating system a checkup
Before the first snowfall, it's always wise to contact your HVAC technician for a heating system checkup. They can give it a tune up, check for problems - and if it's getting up there in years, can tell you if it's time to invest in a replacement. If you're ready to upgrade your system, ask your HVAC provider about technologies like LGRED° (reliable to extreme degrees). This new heat technology from LG Electronics delivers superior heating performance, continuous heating operations down to -13°F and remarkable energy efficiency - ultimately helping your family stay comfortably warm during even the coldest winter day.
Clean out the gutters
Leaf debris in your gutters today can lead to roof and gutter damage tomorrow. But when the snow thaws, these leaves can move downstream, and end up plugging up your downspouts. A big sign of this is hanging icicles from the roof. These form when you don't leave a clear path for the snowmelt, and that creates a dangerous situation when they fall. Plugged up gutters can also leave ice dams on your roof, which can cause leaky ceilings.
Have a smart winter window strategy
In colder months, your windows can help or hurt the cause of conserving energy. If window replacement isn't in the cards this year, the next best thing is to winterize. In drafty areas, use window caulk and plastic sheeting. Remember, the sun's lower angle can be an advantage this time of year; use it. By day, open the blinds and drapes so the thermal effect provides a bit of "free" heat, but keep them closed at night to keep the chill from creeping in.
By catching these small issues early, you'll feel good knowing your house is ready for the snow, ice and cold.