Fall To Do List: How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

prepare your home for winter

Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now that the lazy days of summer are behind us and we have officially begun the fall season, it’s time to prepare your home for winter and the colder weather that is rapidly approaching. Taking the time to get your home and yard prepared for fall can save you time, money, frustration, and even save lives!

1-800 Charity Cars, the nations leading vehicle donation/distribution charity, would like to provide you with the following list to help you prepare your home for winter:

Fall To Do List

  • Draft Check- Inspect all doors and windows in your home for any drafts. Seal any holes or cracks that you find. Replace any worn weather stripping that may be the cause of the drafts. Doing this will help reduce your heating bills and keep you warm.
  • Fireplace/Chimney- Clean out your fireplace. Remove all debris, ash, and charred wood remnants. Contact a chimney sweep, and have them come out and inspect your fireplace and chimney. This will ensure that you are ready to safely use your fireplace.
  • Get Firewood Ready- If you use firewood, it’s a good idea to get stocked up early. If you have wood left from last year, be sure to place it on top of your new wood and use it first. Always make sure your wood is insect free before bringing into your home or storing it near your home.
  • Central Heating System- Change the filters in your furnace, clean all of the vents, and make sure all vents/intakes are clear of blockage from any furniture, curtains, or other items. Be sure to schedule an annual check up of your heating system to make sure all systems are in good condition before it is time to fire up the furnace.
  • Window Air Conditioners- If you use window air conditioners, now is the time to remove them from your windows. Clean and store them for next year.
  • Inspect Plumbing- Check your pipes and faucets. Repair any leaks or worn pipes now before the cold weather hits.
  • Summer Items Cleanup- Clean and store all your summer items such as outdoor furniture and summer toys.
  • Close the Pool- If you have a pool, be sure to prepare and close your pool. You can visit any local pool supplier and purchase a pool closing kit.
  • Lawnmower/Yard Tools- Give your yard one more mowing, trimming, and clean up. Make sure you clean and store all your equipment properly also. Be sure to use up all the fuel in the mower and any other gas powered equipment you use. Unused fuel left sitting will decompose over time causing you difficulties when you try to start them next spring.
  • Stock Up On Cold Weather Necessities- Go now and stock up on all your cold weather necessities such as salt, sand, ice melt, etc. Waiting until a storm hits, or when there is a rush on these items may leave you without what you need. Already having these items stocked and on hand will save you time, money, and frustration.
  • Washer/Dryer Maintenance- The last thing anyone needs is a washer hose to burst or a lint-filled dryer duct to catch on fire. Be sure to check the hoses on your washer, and replace any worn ones. Clean your dryer duct, vents, and the machine itself to rid it of built up dryer lint. If your dryer has an old vinyl duct replace it with a metal one.
  • Safety Measures- As important as it is to prepare your home for winter, it is also important to prepare your home for emergencies. Check all of your smoke detectors and carbon dioxide monitors to make sure they are working properly. Replenish batteries if needed. Inspect any fire extinguishers you have in your home and if you do not have any look into getting some. Remove any fire hazards from your home, and review an escape plan with your family in case a fire does occur.
  • Restock Emergency Items- Check your first aid kit, flashlights, candles, and any other items you keep on hand for power outages, storms, and emergency situations. Be sure you are well stocked, replenish anything you need and make sure you have fresh batteries on hand.

1-800-Charity Cars, a national non-profit that provides vehicle donations to struggling families nationwide, hopes everyone has a smooth transition into the new seasons upon us. For tips on preparing you car for winter, check out our article here. If you follow the tips above to prepare your home for winter, we are sure you will find you will save time, money, energy, and most importantly remain safe while staying warm!