Before cold weather comes along each winter, smart homeowners start winter maintenance tasks early enough to make sure they're prepared for the season's extremes.
Not sure where to start? Follow these essential steps for winterizing your home:
- Clean air conditioners. Wipe down the unit, clear debris from the surrounding area, and hose off the unit. Once it's completely dry, cover the air conditioner and turn off the water shutoff valve, if your system has one. Remove window units and store them indoors to prevent window drafts. If you can't remove your window unit, close the vents and protect it from the elements with an air conditioner cover.
- Drain sprinkler systems. You can tackle this one of two ways: Remove the water using the system's drain valves, or have a professional blow the water out with a large air compressor.
- Turn off outdoor water supply. Make sure all exterior water spigots are turned off and all attached hoses or other devices are removed, drained, and properly stored.
- Insulate pipes. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing and save money on your hot water bill. Insulate by duct-taping pre-slit pipe foam (available at hardware stores) around exposed pipes in your home's crawl space or attic.
- Caulk air leaks around doors and windows.
- Add more insulation if needed. If you can see the ceiling joists in your attic, you may need more insulation.
- Test your thermostat. Turn it to heat mode to make sure the furnace kicks on and blows warm air.
- Have the furnace inspected by a professional. Make sure it's in good shape to last through the winter.
- Inspect and clean your roof and gutters.
- Install storm windows and doors.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.