How to get your home ready for winter

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Maple leaves

A first time home buyer asked me what she needs to do to get her house ready for winter. There are a couple of generic things that most homeowners will need to do:

  1. Get the furnace or boiler serviced.
  2. Turn off water to outdoor spigots.

Even if the furnace or boiler is new you should have it checked out by a professional. In the metro area expect to pay between $90 and $200 dollars for the service. I have found that the companies that charge the least are also the companies with the most inexperienced technicians and they like to sell furnaces and boilers.

As for the water, there should be a turn off valve in the basement or crawl space. Turn the water off inside the house, and then go outside and turn the water off. Disconnect the hose and put it away for the winter.

Leaving the water on can damage faucets or cause pipes to burst inside the house or both.

There is a lot more that can be done to help winterize your house like caulking around windows if needed and sealing up any openings where mice can get it.

For older windows sometimes using window insulation kits (plastic)  will stop drafts and improve efficiency.

I like to put the garden tools away and get out the snow shovels. . . there is more but I think I have covered the basics.

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