With winter on the way, many of us are looking forward to cozy fireside cups of cocoa or hitting the slopes with family and friends. While planning for a fun-filled winter, though, it’s important not to overlook the steps you should take to ensure a safe and healthy winter, as well. Before the chill in the air sets in for good, there are steps you should take to prepare your home and family for the cold winter weather.
No matter the age of your home, it needs regular attention and maintenance. You’ll be grateful for the time you take now to prepare your home for the cold months ahead!
Preparing Your Home for Winter
Whether you’re new to Bozeman’s winters or are a long-time local, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to stock up on essentials before a coming storm. The best preparation for winter weather begins months before the first snowflake falls.
While every home is different and will, therefore, have different needs, winter preparation tasks fall into groupings of shared categories that apply to every situation. It may look like a lot but many items on the checklist below can be completed on your own in a matter of minutes, while many common repairs take under an hour. Set aside sometime this weekend and knock them all out!
In some instances, no matter how handy you are, you really should call in a pro. The two areas where hiring a pro can save you some headache and assure your safety is in dealing with your HVAC system and fireplace.
- While you can replace air filters in your HVAC system and reseal ducts with duct tape on your own, you should still schedule an inspection with a qualified HVAC technician before winter arrives. Depending on the type of heating system in your home, your HVAC system should be inspected and cleaned 1-2 times per year.
- Similarly, fireplace and chimney inspections should be completed by a professional. A fireplace professional will survey your gas or wood fireplace and chimney inside and out during an annual inspection. Soot and other debris can build up in your fireplace leading to a significant safety risk. Gas fireplace inspections involve detecting worn parts, gas leaks and other issues that could create a safety hazard.
Not sure whether you can DIY a repair or if it’s time to call in a professional? Come by Owenhouse Ace Hardware and talk to one of our experts and we can help you sort it out!
Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
Follow our Bozeman winter checklist to keep your home safe and warm this year!
Clear the chimney
- Schedule your annual inspection to keep your fireplace safe and working properly for another year.
- Order firewood or heating oil, if necessary.
Test the heating system and change the air filter
- Change the air filters in your HVAC system. These should be changed, at a minimum, every three months. If you have pets in your home, or if you or a family member has allergies, replace filters monthly.
- Have your heating system inspected and have the necessary components cleaned or repaired by an HVAC contractor.
Install weatherstripping on windows and doors
- Inspect the interior of your home for gaps or cracks around doors and windows and seal these to prevent drafts.
- Check electrical outlets and switch boxes on interior walls for drafts and insulate, if needed.
Clean and cover the condensing unit
- Cover or bring in your patio furniture and other landscaping decor that could be damaged or cause damage over the winter months.
- Drain gas from your lawn equipment and clean it before storing it for the winter. Not sure how to do this? Stop by Owenhouse Ace Hardware for the advice and tips you need on winterizing your power equipment.
Check roof and gutter
- Clean gutters of leaves and other debris.
- Inspect the exterior surfaces of your home for minor gaps and cracks that need to be filled.
Insulate hot water tank and exterior outlets
- If you aren’t sure how or aren’t comfortable draining and maintaining your water heater, schedule water heater maintenance.
Insulate exposed piping
- Check for and repair any leaks in pipes and faucets.
- Insulate water pipes in unheated spaces as well as those against outdoor walls.
- Drain outdoor hoses, sprinklers, and faucets.
- Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and store them indoors or in the garage or shed over winter.
- Cover hose bibs with insulated covers.
Winter Emergency Preparedness
Contact One of Our Local Experts for More Help and Information!
While this checklist can serve as a jumping-off point for your home winterization planning, you may have other projects in your home or outside that need your attention, as well. Whether you have a project to take on and you’re not sure where to start or you need to pick up the tools and supplies to get your house winter-ready, Owenhouse is here to help! With friendly experts in every department, you’ll find all the equipment, tools, and tricks of the trade you need to check off every last item on your list. Give us a call or swing by today and see why our friends and neighbors in Bozeman have trusted Owenhouse Ace Hardware for their hardware and home improvement needs for more than 100 years.
- Visit our Parts & Repair Shop to get the replacement parts you need for your snowblowers and generators.
- Buy or replace winter weather power equipment in our Power Equipment Department.
- Stop by the Electrical Department for surge protectors, flashlights, batteries, and more that you need to keep your family and house safe during the cold winter months.
- Take care of repairs around the house and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and other home safety products from the Hardware Department.
- Replace old appliances, or find items for your home emergency kit such as can openers, candles, and radios in the Housewares Department.