Just like the annual spring clean, your home needs a thorough check once fall hits. Getting your home ready for the colder months might not be something you’ve thought about before. But it could save you money in the long run. And prevent a headache or two if you’re lucky.
Get Your Home Winter-Ready This Fall
When attacking any sort of home clean or check-up, you’ll need a list. They not only make life easier by having everything you need in one place. It also feels great to tick things off a list, no matter how old you are.
This checklist is for all the big jobs you should be doing before fall turns into winter. It’s not an exhaustive list, and there will no doubt be jobs that are missed. Especially if it’s something specific to your home or area. So it’s best to use this resource as a jumping-off point. These are the bare minimum jobs you should be doing. But feel free to add your own!
- Check Your Homes Heating System
The majority of heating and cooling systems will last between 10 and 15 years. But that all comes down to how well they’ve been maintained. If you’re not totally confident in changing filters or checking everything on your HVAC system is happily ticking by, don’t try. It’s best to refrain from trying it yourself, as you might cause more damage than good. Instead, get a qualified HVAC engineer to come over and take a look.
- Clean Out Gutters
Hold this job off until the last leaves have fallen off the trees. And then get on your ladder (safely) and get to clearing them out. If you leave them, the gutters will get backed up. And when they get backed up, they overflow. That overflow will run down your home, damaging the exterior and the foundations. That’s a pricey repair.
This is a great time to check your roof too. Doing a roof repair when the problem is small is so much cheaper than when it’s had time to get worse.
- Check Your Drainage (And Consider Insulating Your Pipes)
Along with checking your gutters, you should check all drainage. That’s to make sure that all water is being directed safely away from your home. Saturated ground that freezes and then thaws can cause you real problems down the line. If you are in a particularly cold state, consider insulating those exposed pipes. That’s because if they freeze, then it could cause the pipes to burst.
- Seal Any Exterior Wood
All exterior wood should now be protected from the elements. Take the time now to inspect all parts of the exterior of your home. Caulk any bits that are deteriorating and replenish paintwork. If it’s too big a job for yourself, it’s worth investing in a visit from the professionals.
- Inspect The Trees Surrounding Your Home
It has come to the end of the growing season, and that means checking that no surrounding trees are imminently threatening your home. Sounds dramatic, but high winds in the winter can cause those trees to topple. And you’d be surprised about how much damage a tree branch can do.
- Shut Off And Drain Outside Faucets (Yep, That Includes The Pool And Sprinkler System)
Similar to insulating your pipes, turning off outside faucets helps to avoid a major pipe burst. Remember to drain things like your pool and sprinkler system too. Just turning off the faucet won’t do a thing if there’s still water in the system.
- Check Your Windows And Doors For Drafts
Prepping for winter is all about figuring out how to keep the warmth in and cold out. A really simple way to check is to inspect your home for drafts. If you want to get serious about it, use a candle to pinpoint drafts. Once you know where they are, you can start work on sealing them up.
While you’re thinking about your windows, now’s the time to swap the summer blinds for heavier winter curtains. Even if you can’t feel a real draft, you still lose a lot of heat through the windows. They’re the coldest part of any room. Wrap them up with their own form of blanket!
- Clean Up The Yard
No one wants to get to spring and have a whole garden load of jobs to do. Now’s the time to cut back perennials and remove any garden trash. If you’re particularly green-fingered, you can mulch your flower beds. This will help insulate the plants during the colder months.
While you’re in the garden, take a look at what furniture you have outside. If there’s a lot that you won’t be using, get it stored away. And if you don’t have anywhere to put it, at least strap the furniture down. It stops them from flying around in high winds, so the house and the furnishings make it intact to the end of the season.
- Be Ready For A Powercut
If the worst happens, you want to be ready for it. Have a plan of action for what to do and where to go in a powercut. And ensure everyone in the family knows. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a power cut kit ready too. Think flashlights, batteries, candles, anything you might need in the event of the power going down.
- Don’t Forget Your Car
This might be a list about prepping your home for the colder weather, but your car needs to be ready for winter too. Breakdowns and accidents increase as we hit winter as driving conditions take a downwards turn. Make sure your car’s ready for it by checking everything once over. And it’s worth having a breakdown kit in the trunk, so you’re prepared for anything. Items in the kit could include a flashlight, a shovel, bottled water, blankets, wellies, a change of clothes, and even some jump leads.
- Get Insured
Getting through the colder months without a hiccup is all about being properly prepared. But no matter how prepared you might be, sometimes accidents still happen. And if they do, you want to know that you have some protection in place.
Make sure your building insurance covers flooding and storm damage up to the amount it would cost to rebuild your property right from the foundations up. It might sound excessive, but future you will be thankful you were ready for the worst.
Don’t Forget To Get Cozy Inside
Doing the (sometimes boring) maintenance jobs is a must before winter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the colder months in style. Here are a few tips for getting your interior style up to scratch and ready to welcome in the winter months.
- Get Seasonal
There’s nothing better than embracing the colder months with open arms. And winter brings some beautiful seasonal decoration along with it too. Think pine cones and pumpkins. And you can get truly into the swing of things with an aromatherapy oil diffuser and all the beautiful smells of winter like cinnamon or vanilla.
- Table Textiles
Winter isn’t known for being a great gardening season, but you can still bring the outdoors in with cuttings of cold-friendly plants. Couple that with some seasonal textiles, and you’ve got yourself a tabletop centerpiece.
- Invest In Rugs
No one likes walking around a cold house on an even colder floor. One of the quickest ways to cozy up your home this winter is to invest in some warm rugs. Shag styles are especially good as you can wiggle your toes in them for ultimate comfort.
- Green Fingers
Just because everything outside is a shade of brown doesn’t mean everything inside your home has to be the same. Introduce some green friends to the inside your home and make the most of their stress-relieving properties.
- Get Cozy
The best way to get cozy in colder months is to literally get cozy. And that might usually mean snuggling down in the comfort of your bedroom. But you can achieve the same level of comfort in the rest of your home too. Just invest in some warm throws and touchable cushions to soften your living spaces.
There’s no better way to welcome the colder months than with a cup of hot chocolate wrapped up in your favorite blanket. But if you want to get through the season unscathed and with your wallet intact, it’s time to get those home check-ups done.
Doing the maintenance now means you can fix any issues before they become a problem when it gets cold. And if you pay special attention to keeping the warmth in and the cold out, you might just save yourself a pretty penny on heating costs too.
Once you’ve got your home ready for the elements, don’t forget to look after yourself and your loved ones. If you’re over 65, have a health condition, or are pregnant, you might need some extra care over the winter months. Don’t forget to get outside and eat healthy to keep your immune system up, alongside staying warm in your winter-ready home.