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Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Tips to prepare your home for the winter

In a blink of an eye, winter is once again upon us. But before you take your winter attire and holiday ornaments out of storage, make sure your home is ready for the cold season first. Take heed of these tips from one of Winthrop’s leading realtors:

Get your HVAC system ready

Your HVAC system probably saw a lot of use in the summer and fall, so inspect and maintain your unit thoroughly so it doesn’t conk out in the dead of winter. Start by changing out the air filters, which increases your HVAC’s efficiency and reduces your energy bills. Also check for pooled water around the compressor, which might indicate a blockage in the drain pan. Lastly, test if your system is outputting enough heat, and get your furnace professionally inspected if it doesn’t.

Inspect your roof

With snow weighing up to 21 pounds per square foot, roofs run the risk of collapsing if their structural integrity has been compromised. Given that Methow Valley gets 33 inches of snow per year, a pre-winter roof checkup is a must. Use a ladder and a pair of binoculars to inspect your roof’s condition, keeping an eye out for issues such as missing shingles, moss growth, or cracked caulking. Take this opportunity to also clean the gutters and realign your downspouts, so that snowmelt can be effectively channeled away from your roof and home.

Prevent burst pipes

Most people don’t pay attention to their water pipes—until they freeze in the winter and burst. If you want to avoid a potential $1,500 headache, you’ll want to insulate exposed pipes in your basement, garage, attic, and kitchen. Luckily, doing so is very cheap, with pipe insulation costing only about 50 cents per foot. You can also prevent pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip from faucets served by exposed pipes, and by sealing the gaps around holes where said pipes run through.

Seal in the heat

Did you know that almost 40% of the heat in your home escapes through cracks in your doors and windows? To stop heat—and money—from literally seeping outside, take a moment to inspect your doors and windows before winter hits. Check if the moldings have cracked and use high-quality caulking to seal any gaps you find. If you own an older home, consider replacing your doors and windows altogether, as newer models have higher insulation ratings.

Test your detectors

House fires often occur in winter because it’s the season when furnaces see the most use. Luckily, smoke detectors are your first line of defense—provided they work properly. Most units have a small test button that triggers the alarm when pushed; run this check monthly to confirm that your smoke detectors are in good working order. Always have spare batteries on hand and replace your current ones every six months.

By following these simple steps, you can make your house more comfortable in the winter. Furthermore, winterizing Winthrop homes for sale makes them more attractive to buyers.

To learn more about the Winthrop real estate market, talk to Coldwell Banker Winthrop by calling 509.996.2121 or by sending an email to info(at)cbwinthrop(dotted)com.