It’s the time of year in Colorado Springs when temperatures regularly drop below 32 degrees at night. This means your furnace is kicking on more often. Keep in mind that you may need to take another look at your gutters even if you cleaned them recently. It usually takes a few fall storms to shake out all of the leaves and pine needles from the trees and the high winds refilled many gutters with debris. You’ll find a list below to help you prepare your home for the winter.
1. Gather your winter tools
Make sure you have plenty of snowmelt on hand just in case but be careful as regular deicing material is dangerous for pets and hard on their paws. It is best to avoid using snowmelt when possible, by removing snow on walkways, paths and driveways first thing in the morning before anyone has driven or walked on it. The sun will do the rest for you if you don’t have a north facing driveway. Make sure your shovels and brooms are in working order.
2. Winter watering
Since your sprinklers blown out, your plants and lawn will still need water over the winter months. According to landscaping professionals, you should be giving your lawn and vegetation about 1/2″ of water per month through winter. Be sure to hand water on warm days to keep your plants alive through the winter. Choose a warm winter day with air temperature above 40 degrees F and unfrozen soil. It is most critical to water in March and April when the new roots are forming. Water at midday so it can soak in before it freezes. Don’t forget to disconnect the water hose from the bib once you are done watering.
Take a look at the exterior of your home. If your furnace vent or dryer vents are fairly low to the ground, you’ll need to remove any debris, bushes or other vegetation around it. If we get a big snowstorm, be sure to remove any snow from the vents to avoid problems with either of these systems.
4. Test your sump pump
Skip this step if you don’t have a sump pump. Make sure the exit pipe for your sump pump is free from debris before testing. Depending on your home’s type of sump pump, you probably only need to pour some water into it. It should kick on and pump out the water.
5. Reverse ceiling fans
Reverse your ceiling fans to run clockwise to push the warm air down.
6. Water heater
Flush your water heater to remove sediment.
7. Winterize your patio furniture
Store your patio furniture in a garage or shed or cover your pieces with a tarp or tailored weatherproof covers.
8. Install new weather stripping
You can reduce your energy bill dramatically by reducing drafts in your home. Check all windows and doors for any cold that might come into the home. Install or replace weather stripping to keep your home cozy and warm.
10. Seal it!
It’s hard to believe that most homes have gaps not only at windows, but also around pipes or electrical wiring going through walls, ceilings or to the outside of the home. Visually inspect those exit points for gaps and seal them if needed.
Stay warm and safe!
Community Manager & Business Development