Moving from Los Angeles to Franklin, TN has been a big journey on so many levels, but when you move from a place where there is virtually NO winter to one of seasons, weather and definitely winter, you’re met with some surprises.
Basically…we knew nothing…nada…zilch about winterizing our house…but we learned and not necessarily the easy way.
Don’t get me wrong…I really do find things to love about the winter, but I sleep better knowing this list has been completed.
If you’ve lived where there’s actually winter your entire life, this post isn’t for you, but you might help a friend out who needs this information.
On the other hand…if you’ve moved from a warm climate, this list just might save you a whole lot of aggravation.
Get started now so you’ll be totally prepared. Then you can relax in front of the fire with hot toddy.
1. Have a full service tune up on your HVAC unit. You don’t want to be caught with a heater on the blink when the temps drop. This happened to us and it’s not fun plus it’s expensive!
2. Don’t ignore your cooling system. Remove any obvious debris and then get it a cover to protect it from the elements.
3. Change the filters in your vents. It makes it easier for the warm air to flow.
4. Have you had your chimney swept or inspected recently? Now is the time. Make sure the flashing is in good shape and there are no nests residing in your fireplace. Squirrels love to make a home there.
5. Run your fans in reverse. Heat rises and if you change the setting on your room fans to counterclockwise, it will push the heat back downwards. This little thing could save you as much as 10% in your energy costs.
6. Lower the water temperature in your water heater…not only will you avoid getting scalded but this is another energy saver – possibly up to 10%! While you’re at it, insulate your water tank with an insulating blanket available at any hardware store.
7. Seal the leaks. On a windy day check all windows for cold air seeping through. We use rope caulk and it works.
8. Add weather stripping to the bottom of your doors.
9. Insulate all exposed pipes. Wrap them up and keep them toasty warm to avoid any breaks or expansion. Ideally you should insulate them with electrical tape first and then insulate them with foam.
10. Drain water from exterior faucets and then cover them with a dome.
11. When the leaves have stopped falling, check your rain gutters and clean out the debris.
12. Drip your water when it gets below freezing. We didn’t do this our first year and guess what? You’re right…broken pipe and a flood downstairs. You don’t need to run water…just drip it.
13. Have your irrigation blown out. I hire someone to do this because I don’t want to mess it up. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of having your irrigation system crack or explode. The damage can be catastrophic. Please have this done.
14. Check your roof for any missing shingles and have them replaced. Don’t forget to check the flashing around the chimney.
15. Stock up on rock salt or kitty litter for icy walkways and the driveway. Last year in the ice storm we were stuck in the house for 6 days because we couldn’t get out of the driveway! There are only so many puzzles one family can do.
I’m sure there are more things to do, but you know…I’m still figuring all this out. If you have other important tips, please share in the comments below, because I can use all the help I can get.
Winter is fast approaching and I want y’all to have a cozy warm house and peace of mind.
You know what they say…there’s a first time for everything.
And let’s get social, shall we?