Winter is Coming: Get Your Home Ready for the Cold
Ski passes? Check. Snow tires? Quadruple check. Winterizing your home? We often forget that our houses also require some pre-winter love. A few simple steps can make your home safer, more durable, and warmer as the cold approaches. Nobody wants to head into 10-degree overnight lows with a heating system that’s on the fritz!
I checked in with Todd R. Marsh, my neighbor who happens to be the co-founder of property management company Property Alliance, to find out what he recommends we all do to winterize our home. Here’s what’s on his list, plus some helpful links as needed:
Check & Prep Your Heating System
- If you have an older furnace, consider scheduling a tune-up.
- Change out or clean your filters if needed. Generally, filters last anywhere from a couple months to a year depending on how big they are and whether you have pets (I have a recurring reminder in my calendar).
- If you have an A/C system or a swamp cooler, winterize it and install covers.
- Check that floor heating vents are open to allow for proper air flow.
Prep the Exterior
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and ensure downspouts are draining away from the home.
- Check that tree branches are not rubbing roofs, siding or windows. If needed, trim branches.
- Visually inspect roof and eves for damage.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Winterize your irrigation system (you’ll probably want to hire someone to do this).
- Detach garden hoses from spigots.
- During cold snaps, leave cabinet doors open in problem spots (think below your sink) to encourage warm air flow in the vicinity of water lines.
- Install insulation around pipes in problem areas (like utility closets or crawlspaces).
- Schedule servicing for gas, wood, and/or pellet stoves.
- Get your chimney inspected and cleaned to prevent chimney fires.
- Replace the batteries for your CO2 and smoke detectors and clean off any dust that has accumulated on them.
- Take your snowblower in to Park City Power Products and get it serviced. Rod has been taking care of snowblowers and other such useful tools for over two decades.
- Stock up on ethanol-free gas, which is better for your snowblower. Here’s a list of ethanol-free gas stations in Utah, the nearest of which to Park City might be in Heber or Kamas.
- Keep thermostats set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If your vacation property is for sale, ask your Realtor to check the heat.
- Consider turning off the main water line.
- If it will be more than a few days, make sure someone will stop by and check on your property.
Last box to check? Do your snow dance and hope to hear the familiar sound of avalanche bombs going off in the morning.