Prepping Your Home For Winter

Prepping Your Home For Winter

Brandywine II

September 20, 2021

Colorful leaves are falling and there’s a crisp bite in the air. If you haven’t noticed that cozy scent of pumpkin-flavored everything, then you might not know Autumn is officially here.

The fall season starts on September 22nd and runs through December 20th. That means it’s time to prepare your Gemcraft home for colder weather. Here’s a basic checklist to get your home ready for the colder months.

Getting ready to turn on the heat. 

For the next 6 months, you’ll be pretty reliant on your heating system to keep life cozy. The shift in seasons is a great time to replace the air filter, schedule a tune-up and make sure you won’t have a surprise breakdown on a chilly night.  Make sure your HVAC equipment is ready to produce consistent heat for the coming weather. Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming season.

With furnaces turned on, the windows closed, and portable heaters humming along, fall is a great time to make sure your smoke and CO detectors are working. Check batteries and test your smoke and CO detectors. No one once to be woken in the middle of the night to beeping detectors.

Check your windows and doors. This is one of the easiest ways to save on winter energy bills and keep your house from getting cold. Make sure there are no cracks, leaks, or air coming through the window sills or door frames.

Changing the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling is a quick and easy way to efficiently heat your home.

Get Your Water Heater Flushed

Water heater issues are common in the fall and winter. The last thing you need is shower suds in your hair with ice-cold water temperatures…

Schedule a licensed plumber to carefully inspect your water heater for any issues. They can flush your system of sediments, test for proper function and make you aware of any worn-out parts.

Drain and store outdoor faucets and hoses. 

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temperatures hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. While you are at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads. If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes.

Clean up and store outdoor living spaces. 

Say goodbye to lounging on your deck or patio during those hot summer days. If you haven’t done so already, store your outdoor décor once you’ve thoroughly wiped the remnants of summer away. Now is a good time to take care of that deck maintenance you have been putting off

Protect Your Plumbing

With freezing temperatures come burst pipes. Avoid damage to your property by taking extra precautions for your plumbing. Disconnect all outdoor hoses, drain the water, and make sure all exterior faucets are tightly in the off position. If you have exposed pipes in garages or areas that maintain colder temperatures, consider wrapping them in insulation. Here’s an in-depth look at how to care for your plumbing in Pennsylvania this season.

Stock Up On Supplies

Make sure you’re ready for any big storms or power outages. Have ice melt, ice scrapers, and emergency items like water, first aid kits, and warm clothes at-the-ready.

You’ll notice the days are much shorter, so be sure you have plenty of lightbulbs for outdoor and indoor spaces in case they burn out.

Check roof and clean gutters. 

Look closely for signs of roof damage. If you have a steep roof or a multi-story house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.

Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters are not sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets.

Take a close look at the ground around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house.

Care For Your Landscaping

Freezing temperatures can be hard on your lovely Gemcraft backyard. Move any potted trees or plants inside that can’t handle the weather. Consider having an arborist check taller trees for dead limbs or vulnerable branches that could break in severe wind or cold weather. Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth is done. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto your roof.

Prepare your yard equipment. 

This means draining or adding a stabilizer to your spring/summer equipment like your mower and blower. Check to see that all of your snow equipment is up and running before the first snowfall.

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