6 Ways to Get Your Home Winter Ready

October 14, 2014

Snow might not have touched down in some areas of the state, but it's undoubtedly coming. That means now is the perfect time to make sure your home is in tip-top shape and ready to battle those chilly temps.

Start with these 6 tips.

Have the furnace checked

For a relatively modest price, a HVAC company will come to your home to inspect your furnace, clean vital parts, and tune it up. In addition to the service charge, expect that you will need a new filter for the furnace and one for the humidifier.  If you are looking for convenience, the service agent will gladly replace the filters for you but if you are the handy type, you can head on to the local home improvement superstore and buy and replace the filters yourself. The service may run about $150 or so.

Blow out the irrigation system and disconnect the hoses outside

If your system requires a “fall blowout” contact a qualified landscape company for the service.  Typically, it’s a ten-minute job depending on the size and complexity of your irrigation system.  One of the things I like to do because I’m an “organizer” (some would say “nosey neighbor”) is to contact a group of my neighbors and have the service done for all of us.  You can usually negotiate a lower cost per service when the properties are close together.  The service may be in the range of $40 per yard or less for more in the same vicinity.

Check the weather stripping on all exterior doors

Now that I have been in my home for seven years, I’m watching for places that my heat can escape.  I’ve noticed that the weather stripping on the front door is wearing on the bottom of the door.  I know this fix will require that I pull the pins on the hinges and pop the door off, this is going to save a lot of heat this winter.  Ok, another trip down to the superstore for weather stripping.  You can have this project in the completed column for under $10 per door.

Aerate the lawn and spread fertilizer

Getting fertilizer down in the roots with aeration and the snow/melt cycle is going to make your grass some of the greenest and thickest on the block come next spring.  Fertilizer is pretty inexpensive. Expect $25 to cover 4000-5000 square feet of lawn.  The aeration will probably run in the neighborhood of another $30-$40.

Be sure the downspouts and gutters are clear of debris

This should be a low to non-cost project. Clean gutters and free-flowing downspouts are critical to ensure that melting snow does not backup under shingles and leak into your wonderful old or new home.  Ice dams and frozen downspouts cause overflows that send melting snow onto the porch in no time flat.  It’s an easy prescription for serious slips and falls on an icy porch or sidewalk.  Just take your time, plant that ladder safely, and know that it might be an afternoon’s work.

Check your snow shovels or make arrangements to have snow cleared from walkways and driveway

Snow in Colorado is inevitable, so a shovel is a necessity.  Be sure your shovels are in good condition.  Remember when the snow is flying, the handy dandy home superstore is probably going to run short in their shovel supply.  Leave the procrastination up to others and plan ahead. An alternative is to make arrangements with the youngster down the block to shovel your walks and driveway.

What are you doing to get your home winter ready?