Annual 5-Point Checklist for Winterizing Your Home

winterize your home

Image Courtesy of My Zesty Living

Winter in Northern New Jersey is uniquely spectacular, and for some, the abundance of exciting winter activities makes this a favorite time of year. There’s a lot more to consider than simply hitting the slopes, though. You’ll need to prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead.

Nobody will deny that the cold and wet winter months can wreak havoc on your personal property.  Everything from your car to your home can be damaged during inclement winter weather, so it makes sense that you would want to be proactive in caring for your investments. Winterizing your home accomplishes this, as well as ensuring that you and your family will stay dry and warm through the coldest time of year.

Below is a 5-point checklist of tasks that are included in the winterization process:

  1. Change your HVAC filters. If the filters for your heating unit are full of heavy dust or pet dander, it will prevent the unit from operating efficiently. If necessary, request a professional HVAC inspection, as well.
  2. Protect your pipes from freezing. When pipes freeze and break, the potential damage to your home can be disastrous. Avoid catastrophe by investing in pipe insulation, which is both affordable and simple to install.  Allow your faucets to drip during freezing weather and have a wrench handy, should you need to turn the water off in an emergency.  Finally, don’t forget to disconnect any hoses that may be stored around the perimeter of your home.
  3. Clean leaves and debris from your gutters to allow proper drainage. You should also cut away any overhanging tree limbs or foliage that may damage your home in an ice storm or during heavy snow.
  4. Check doors and windows for gaps that may allow warm air to escape. You may also want to cover windows with a plastic insulation to provide an additional barrier between your family and the elements.
  5. If your home has a working fireplace, have the flue checked for buildup and ensure that there is proper ventilation to the outside.

As you go through the process of winterizing your home, don’t forget to take stock of your emergency supplies. Be sure that you have things like batteries, candles, matches, and other items that will sustain your family during a loss of power, should one occur.

If you are in an area of Northern New Jersey that experiences a heavy buildup of ice and snow as the season progresses, you may want to also consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.  Homeowners’ policies do not insure against the potential flood damage that may occur as this wintery buildup melts.

Winterizing your home saves energy, lowers utility costs, and prevents very costly and unnecessary repairs.  These are simple preparations that add to your home’s longevity and your family’s comfort. They are well worth the time and effort.