Winter Prep Checklist
Winter is coming and so are seasonal heating costs, but there are some ways to lessen the burden this year. There are a few things you can easily do to prepare your home for winter at little to no cost to you. We’ve put together a check list for you to run through before you hunker down for another Wisconsin winter. Remember, a warm home is a happy home.
Clean the gutters
Clear away all twigs, leaves and any other debris that could block your gutters. Clean gutters help drain water away from your roof and your home, but blocked gutters can lead to leaks, roof damage and sagging that could result in the gutter falling off your house. If you’re comfortable with this task, get out your ladder and complete it before temperatures drop. Otherwise, hire a local professional to give it a thorough cleaning. For professional services, expect to pay anywhere between $100 to $200, depending on the size of your home.
Reverse your ceiling fan blades
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, set the blades to slowly move clockwise in the colder months. This lifts cool air to the ceiling and pushes heated air down to keep you nice and toasty. The best part is this only takes a few minutes of your time and it’s completely free!
Seal your doors and windows
Don’t let your heat and money slip through the cracks this winter. Apply caulk to your windows and doors to keep your heat inside. Don’t forget to check for cracks in the basement and attic as these rooms can have the more serious air leaks in your home. A tube of caulk can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 depending on the kind you need.
Turn off exterior faucets
This may sound like a no-brainer, but forgetting to turn off your exterior faucets could lead to your pipes freezing and potentially bursting. Simply start by locating the shutoff valve inside your house and closing it, then disconnecting all garden hoses and draining any remaining water from the faucets. Once the hoses are stored indoors and your faucets have been drained, you’re all done. And you didn’t have to spend a penny!
Check your furnace regularly
Having your furnace stop working in the dead of winter can be a major inconvenience and a major blow to your budget. Make sure you’re regularly replacing your furnace filters and have a trusted professional check over your furnace to catch any minor issues before they become a much larger problem. Replacing your furnace filter can cost anywhere between $10 - $40 depending on what your furnace requires. Since inspections require a professional, you should expect to pay anywhere between $80 to $100 for a routine inspection.
Giving your home a good inspection before the heat comes on can help keep your costs down this winter. Even checking over the little things can go a long way. Have a safe and happy winter!