There are a lot of things you can do to ward off trouble around the house in those colder months from December to March, and some of them can actually increase the price of your home. A good example is windows. Replacing those old single-pane models can actually translate into savings on your energy bill and give your place a stylish new look that will increase the asking price.
But if you’ve got newer windows, make sure to check out the caulk around the sashes. Some contractors use oil or resin caulk that can pull away and leave a draft in as little as one year.
Other places to check for drafts include around foundation walls, the clothes dryer vent, and pipe outlets. One of the best ways to look for drafts is a little old fashioned: a flickering candle held in front of a window or doorframe.
Window sashes and exterior doors are the best places to use weather stripping, particularly metal weather strips because they’re almost invisible when installed.
Few things are worse on a cold morning than waking up to find your furnace is on the fritz. With just a few simple steps, your heating system will be prepared and running smoothly all winter long.
Look for any cracks or excessive corrosion first. The best place to start is in the heat exchanger. This is where carbon monoxide could leak into your home. Install some carbon monoxide detectors and if you suspect a leak, call a professional immediately.
You should also check or replace the filter and vacuum out dust.
Cover The Lines
The main water supply line to the house is usually safely buried under the ground, but it’s a good idea to look in your basement or crawlspace for any exposed piping that should be covered with insulation tape so it doesn’t freeze and burst.
Storing Your Tools
Before covering up your bbq for the winter, remember to disconnect any hoses from the spigots and make sure they’re free of water before you store them in the garage or shed. Make sure to bring any paint into the house too. If left outside over the winter, paint spoils and looks like cottage cheese when it thaws out in the spring.
With all those drafts plugged up and your family safe and warm, it will be time to turn your attention to the festive part of the winter months and consider some home decorating. But don’t become a holiday statistic—the National Safety Council reports that taking a fall is the number one cause of home fatalities. Plan for safety before you climb a ladder to string those lights up.
Check all the ropes and pulleys on your ladder before you climb and pay special attention to the rungs. If your ladder is showing the signs of wear and tear, get a new one.