Listen Up, First-Time Homeowners: It’s Time to Winterize Your Home
The sad truth is that winter is way closer than we’d all like to believe. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you should know how to prepare your new home for the cold, snowy weather. Keep reading to uncover the top ways you should winterize your home now before the cold hits. The experienced realtors at Sheehan-Mohns Group RE/MAX Realty 100 put their heads together to share these great tips:
#1: Tune up Your Heating System
Winter is no joke—especially not when your furnace breaks down. Schedule a professional furnace tuneup to keep your family warm and cozy, help prevent breakdowns, and save hundreds on heating bills because it’ll run efficiently. As an added tip, replace your air filter if you skip maintenance and prefer to DIY. Also, make sure you put new batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide alarms.
#2: Go Ahead and Invest in a Humidifier
A whole-home humidifier will turn your cold, dry home into a warm, cozy oasis. Much like our skin dries out from low humidity, so do our homes. If your indoor humidity level drops below the recommended 35-50 percent level, your home’s building materials and furnishings—especially wood—will chip, crack, and peel. With a whole-home humidifier, the system automatically regulates much-needed moisture to protect your home and keep your family healthy. Humidifiers even reduce cold- and flu-causing viruses, dry and cracked skin, bloody noses, and other uncomfortable side effects of dry air.
#3: Have a Fireplace? Get It Inspected
The only thing hotter than a working fireplace is a safe one. Schedule a fireplace inspection and chimney sweep to eliminate built-up soot and creosote that can cause fires. A pro will ensure everything is safe and ready to go for winter by checking dampers, bricks, tuck-points, and chimney caps or screens.
#4: Make Sure Your Winter Equipment Is Locked and Loaded
Let’s be honest—snow removal is a hassle. Especially if you’re a first-time homeowner who isn’t used to doing it themselves. Now is the time to get your shovels, snow blower(s), ice-melt, and salt stash locked and loaded. Stocking up early and tuning up your machinery will ensure you’re ready for the first snowstorm—then it’s game on.
#5: Prevent Frozen Pipes
Trust us when we say you never want to mess with water damage—talk about serious problems and expensive repairs. That’s why we recommend that you prevent frozen pipes by:
- Draining your garden hoses (and spigots) and storing them indoors or in a shed
- Insulating exposed plumbing pipes, especially in open or unheated spaces
- Setting your thermostat to a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re away from home or go out of town for any length of time. You should also open cabinets for pipes that are located on exterior walls. This helps heat circulate and prevents them from freezing.
#6: Prepare an Emergency Kit
Yeah, the likelihood you’ll need to use an emergency kit is slim, but better safe than sorry, right? Grab a few indoor candles, matches, and/or a lighter to use if the power goes out. Have extra flashlights and batteries set aside, and consider a back-up battery charger for smartphones and tablets. Snag a few extra blankets and clothing layers, and don’t forget about pets! Stock some extra food for them and be sure to keep them warm in the event that you lose power and heat.
Ready to Winterize Your Home? Go for It!
The real estate pros at SMG tell all first-time homeowners that winterizing is key to preventing problems and helping your home last. Don’t run the risk of serious damage when these easy (and practically free) tips can help. And don’t hesitate to reach out if you have other questions. We’re here to help you: 262-787-3089.