prep your home for winter ice falling off gutters of home

How to Prep Your Home For Winter

As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes colder here in the Willamette Valley, it’s the perfect time to prep your home for winter. Here are a few basic tips for winterizing your property: 

1. Cover Exterior Water Spigots

Make sure hoses have been removed from your spigots and the spigots are completely turned off. Then, cover with an insulated cover. 

2. Give your Heating System a Tune-up

Many technicians will come out to service your system for free. It’s best to schedule your tune-up before the weather freezes so you can avoid any lengthy repairs during the colder winter months. Scheduling your tune-up sooner than later can also ensure that a technician will be available before the busy season. 

3. Change Furnace Filter

Remember to ask your technician to replace your furnace filter during your tune-up! Oftentimes, this is included in their service. 

4. Check Your Fireplace

Before using your fireplace for the season, check for dust, debris, and even critters.  

5. Inspect and Install Caulking and Weatherstripping

Proper weatherstripping can conserve energy by blocking drafts from entering your home and messing with your thermostat’s temperature reading.  

On this same note, having your attic properly and professionally insulated is always a good idea when it comes to conserving energy.

6. Clear Gutters & Trim Trees

As you clear the gutters, double check that the downspout connection is intact and properly draining water. Give your yard a glance and take note of any branches that could be affected by ice, wind, and snow. Harsh winter weather can weaken branches and cause them to fall onto your home, cars, or power lines. Additionally, trimming shrubs and bushes that lean against the house can help to avoid unwanted moisture intrusion. 

Lastly, as temperatures dip below freezing, it’s best to keep your heating system on and around at least 60-65 degrees to keep pipes warm enough to avoid damage. The Willamette Valley isn’t as prone to terribly pernicious temperatures but, on particularly cold nights, remember that running the faucet on a drip and opening the cupboards underneath your sink (even just a crack) can help to prevent your pipes from freezing over and causing damage to your home. As you complete these steps to prep your home for winter, remember to take a moment to test those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors! 

As a professional design-build firm, we will always consider the best ways to conserve energy as we design your home. If you’re interested in making any changes, give us a call!

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