As a homeowner, you must take precautionary steps in winterizing your house to prevent damage, add winter comfort, and maintain your home’s value over the long run. Whether you’ve winterized your home before or this is your first year, here’s how to winterize it properly so it can weather the season.
How to Winterize Your Home?
Winterizing your home doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a step-by-step process you’ll need to tackle patiently. Proper winterizing will help ensure that all the systems are functioning in your home. Before the weather starts cooling off dramatically, tackle this checklist to winterize your home successfully.
Winterize Home Checklist
A comprehensive winterize home checklist can be difficult to find. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of everything you need to do to ensure your home is winterized:
Close off your outdoor shower
When the cold of winter arrives, freezing temperatures may burst your outdoor shower pipes and damage the shower’s hardware. To winterize your shower, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Locate the valves on the hot and cold water pipes that run to the outdoor shower. To shut off the water supply, turn each valve handle to the left until the hold is firmly locked.
- Step 2: Turn the shower faucet handles to the “on” position. To drain the pipes entirely, let the water run freely. This process will prevent any remaining moisture in the pipes from accumulating and expanding to burst the pipes under freezing conditions.
- Step 3: Remove the shower head by gently twisting it off the overhead pipe. Next, invert the shower head to drain out any remaining water. You can also opt to store this piece of hardware indoors until Spring, when you can set it up again.
Drain your lawn irrigation system
Your lawn irrigation system will come with one of the following options: (1) automatic drain, (2) manual drain, and (3) blow-out method.
Start by turning off the water supply to activate an automatic drain function. Next, run one of the sprinkler heads to relieve the water pressure in the system. Automatic draining should begin, clearing the pipes of excess water. You may still need to drain the water between the shut-off valve and the backflow device.
Shut off the water supply to the system. Next, find the manual valves at the ends and low points of the piping. Open all the valves and drain the water from the system, making sure you also drain the backflow device.
Force compressed air through the irrigation system to drain the pipes, discharging excess water through the sprinkler heads. It works if you have the proper irrigation system to handle the pressure. However, the blow-out method is potentially hazardous. It can damage both the irrigation system and the person attempting it. It’s vital to take proper safety precautions when using this method.
Store deck and patio furniture
Taking care of your furniture in the off-season helps extend its durability and longevity. If you store your outdoor furniture properly in the off-season, your items will stay in excellent condition year after year. Here are some tips for keeping your outdoor furniture optimal:
- Clean it before storing away: A light clean at the end of each season keeps your furniture free from debris and in tip-top condition. Fill a bucket with warm detergent and gently scrub any dirt/debris. Invest in removable covers/slips that you can easily wash for your fabric.
- Pick a good storage space: Your storage space will depend on how much available room you have to store off-season items. Many people opt for garage storage. However, keep your garage door closed as much as possible to prevent the elements from affecting your furniture.
- Cover your furniture: Taking additional steps to cover your outdoor furniture will make it last the test of time. For optimal longevity, aim for durable materials that are waterproof and fade-resistant.
Clean your gutters
Gutters direct rainwater and snow away from your roof to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage. However, they won’t do their job well if they become clogged with leaves and debris. You may prefer to hire professional assistance for this chore, but you can also do it without expense using a sturdy ladder, gloves, and a garden trowel or gutter scoop.
Remove and store screens
Removing your window screens will prevent snow from being trapped between the screen and the window. Another benefit is the increased solar heat absorption that removing your screens will provide – saving you money and energy efficiency. Before storing your screens away, give them a good scrub so they’re in pristine condition for the Spring. To achieve this, use a garden hose, mild dish soap, and a soft-bristle brush. Scrub the screen with the brush using dish soap and warm water. Next, rinse off the screens, and allow them to dry thoroughly before storing them away for the season.
Install storm door glass panels
Storm doors help stop and block cold air drafts and provide an added layer of protection. Installing a storm door to seal drafts and reduce airflow can increase energy efficiency in your home by up to 45%. Also, storm doors allow light and ventilation into your home during the darker winter months.
Shut off and drain sillcocks
Your sillcocks are almost guaranteed to freeze and break when exposed to freezing weather. To prevent freezing, turn the valve off that leads to the drain sillcocks and drain the water.
Check your heating system
Your heating system is an essential part of your winterize checklist. First, check your heating system’s air filters. If they have dirt or dust, wash them, dry them, and put them back in. Once completely dry and clean, put them back in. If you want a more detailed check of your HVAC system, you need help from a licensed HVAC technician. Regular preventative maintenance will keep your system efficient all year round.
Tips on Repairing Your House for Winter
If your house requires repairs for winter, get a head start with the following tips:
Get your home inspected
Need to know if your home is winter-ready? A home inspection may be the best action. By getting your home inspected, you can maximize efficiency and safety in your house and reduce costs incurred during the winter months. Certified professional inspectors can look for issues such as poor ventilation, heat loss, inadequate insulation, faulty roofing, etc.
Hire a professional to help out
All the work that goes into winterizing a home is not for the faint-hearted! If you think some help would get the job done faster, consider hiring a professional team or company to make the process smoother.
How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a House?
Prices differ depending on how much you need to winterize your house, where you live, and the severity of the weather in your area. However, you can use some great resources to calculate a rough estimate. For example, HomeAdvisor’s Winterize a House calculator provides you with calculations based on your location. Fixr also provides an estimate per line item, summarized as the following:
- Service furnace / clean ducts: $350 – $1,000
- Replace weatherstripping: $200 – $600
- Inspect the roof: $100 – $600
- Energy audit: $145 – $420
- Install new thermostat: $150 – $400
- Clean chimneys: $100 – $300
- Clean gutters: $150 – $225
- Install storm windows: $100 – $200
- Clean dryer vent: $100 – $175
- Caulk spaces around windows and doors: $50 – $200
- Replace smoke detectors: $70 – $150
- TOTAL: Varies from $1,515 – $4,270.
However, if you are on a tight budget, you can DIY a few of the above tasks – particularly cleaning, installation, and replacements. So, don’t stress if these estimates are outside your range for winterizing your home.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our winterize home checklist and gained some ideas on winterizing your house! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.