October 22, 2020
Seattle is luckier than a lot of places around the U.S. when it comes to a winter climate. While it can get cold and frigid, we rarely see below-freezing temperatures during the winter months. As we slowly approach colder temperatures, it’s good to do an inventory around your home on things you should consider prepping in advance. Check out these five tips to get started on winterizing your home!
Check and make sure there are no problems with your furnace before it gets too cold. recommends setting the temperature to 80 degrees and checking that warm air is blowing through your furnace. If you’re unsure of how well it’s functioning, call a service technician and get a professional answer. One thing that often gets overlooked is the air filter. Typically, experts recommend replacing this monthly, but if it’s been longer than that make sure you get a new one installed.
Many older builds in the Seattle area are equipped with lovely chimney’s and wood-burning fireplaces. If this applies to your home, make sure that the chimney is free of any debris or obstruction. A good indication on whether something is obstructing your chimney is to follow the smoke. One example of this it to set your fireplace damper to the open position, set fire to a few old newspapers and follow where the smoke goes. If the smoke isn’t rising, there’s a good chance something is in the way. Local professionals can come in and find what the blockage is! It’s good to have your chimney cleaned periodically anyways, so knock out both if you can.
There’s two important components when it comes to winterizing your water pipes: insulation and shutting off your water (if needed). If you’re aware of exposed pipes in your home, whether that be in a crawl space, attic, etc. make sure that they are well insulated so you don’t run into any problems later in the season. This is especially true if you plan on being away from your home for an extended period of time. If you plan to be gone for a few months, shut off your water supply and drain the plumbing system. The worst thing to deal with when you return is burst pipes!
Nobody likes a high heating bill! Checking that all windows, doors, and walls are well-insulated prevents cold air from coming in. Take an especially close look at older windows and their moldings. If you notice any moldings that may be cracked, be sure to re-caulk them and create a strong seal. The same goes for windows with locking mechanisms, if they aren’t well shut or don’t lock properly, there’s a good chance cold air can leak in.
When it comes to your landscape, fall is the best time of the year to improve the health of your grass for next summer. Search for any pesky weeds or harmful plants and remove them. It’s also a good idea to stop watering your trees and shrubs right now, and restart the watering process after the leaves have fallen and prior to freezing temperatures. Because of the heavy rain our area receives, watering is almost unnecessary. If you haven’t already, be sure to stain and seal your deck to prevent winter damage. The same goes for any concrete structures: identify any cracks or damaged walkways and seal them before temperatures get too cold. And lastly, but not least, don’t forget to cover the patio furniture!
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