Winter in Utah is beautiful, but the weather can be harsh on your home. The season’s snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your residence, especially if you’re unprepared for the cold. Aside from scheduling furnace repair and tune-ups, here’s a quick guide to winterizing your home.
1. Keep Out the Draft
Adequate insulation keeps your home warm and cozy without requiring expensive heating. To keep heated air inside, insulate critical areas such as the attic, basement, crawlspace, exterior walls, and outside switch plates.
Seal drafty windows and doors to prevent warm air from escaping. Find and seal gaps that allow cold air in—such as edges, hinges, and meeting points—with caulking and weather stripping.
2. Maintain Your Furnace
Because your heating system is a critical home feature in the winter, ensure it is in good working order. Schedule furnace repair and tune-ups with a licensed HVAC contractor, preferably before the first freeze. This reduces the likelihood of emergency calls and ensures technician availability.
During the furnace repair and check-up, the technician will inspect the equipment, change the filters, evaluate its safety features, and perform preventive maintenance.
3. Inspect the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your Utah home, inspect its components for cold air leaks. Whatever type of fireplace you have, make sure no drafts are coming in through gaps or faulty closures. Remove any obstructions and combustible materials, and inspect the masonry for cracks or open joints that need to be repaired.
If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in years, hire a chimney sweep instead of doing it yourself. Having a professional fireplace and chimney inspection is also a good idea.
However, if you have an unused fireplace, properly seal it off to prevent cold air from entering through the chimney.
4. Trim Tree Branches
Overhanging branches can cause significant damage and disruption to your home and family if they fall during a winter storm. They can also cause moisture damage by allowing water to pool and eventually leak through holes in the siding or roof.
Cut back the branches to avoid such mishaps. Keep at least three feet of space between your house and any neighboring trees.
5. Clear the Gutters
Check the gutter system for loose joints, cracks, and sagging. If you find any of these issues, have them fixed so that water can run off properly. Also, make sure there are no dried leaves, twigs, or nests clogging your gutters and downspouts. Remember that frozen debris adds significant weight to the gutter, which can pull it down and cause roof damage.
Make Sure You’re Ready
Winterization doesn’t have to be complicated—but it does need to be done at the proper time. Make sure you’re ready before temperatures start to drop. Your house will thank you!