Those who already live in our master-planned community in North Texas know that even though our state may be in the South, we still have to plan ahead for colder temperatures and even the possibility of ice and snow during the winter months. Fortunately, it’s easy to winterize your home with this checklist of handy tips.
Sure, the weather in North Texas is great, but even here we still have an average of 33 freeze days between October and April, according to the National Weather Service. Most of those days fall between December and February. Fortunately, you can prepare your home for the worst weather that Old Man Winter can throw at you by bundling up and tackling a few simple home winterization projects this weekend!
Winterize Your Home Checklist:
The nasty winter weather may all be outside, but you’ll also want to prepare your home for cold weather with these indoor projects.
- There’s nothing worse than a burst pipe in the dead of winter, so prep your plumbing for the cold, and don’t forget the area underneath your house if you have a crawl space. If your pipes are exposed, consider putting insulation around them to protect against a freeze.
- Tune-up your HVAC system. Most HVAC providers offer pre-season checkups that can help you avoid unpleasant surprises when you need your furnace the most. Also, be sure to change your furnace filter regularly. It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly.
- Take advantage of your mudroom, if you have one, or create another dedicated space in the house to keep winter shoes and coats in one spot.
- Plan ahead for those items that help keep you warm. If you’ve got a fireplace, make sure that it’s stocked with wood and that the chimney is clean. You might want to hire a professional chimney-cleaning service before you fire it up for the first time each year. Pile on warm blankets. And if you use space heaters or electric blankets, be sure to only use them as instructed!
- Prepare a kit in the event of a power outage and include things to keep you warm along with batteries, flashlights, and so on. It’s also a good idea to keep the number for your HVAC company handy, in case the furnace goes out on the coldest night of the year.
- As you find in most newer homes, modern gas fireplaces have an electric start. However, there is a unit inside to add batteries in the case of a power outage. Make sure to stock up on batteries.
When it comes to tips for winterizing your home, you’re probably thinking more about projects you can do outside your house. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of tips to help you make sure that the exterior of your home is as prepared for the cold as the interior.
- Keep your plants healthy through the winter months. Bring potted plants inside and cover outside plants with a frost cloth, which you can pick up at your local garden center or hardware store.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts. Check for debris and ensure that downspouts are positioned so that water drains away from your home. Water that pools on your roof during the winter can freeze, leading to serious roof damage, while water that drains too close to your home can lead to foundation damage.
- Weatherproof your backyard items. Here in North Texas, we love a good barbecue, but you won’t be using that grill during the winter months. If you can’t bring it inside, you’ll want to cover it – along with any lawn furniture – while it’s not in use.
- If you have control over your sprinkler or irrigation systems, shut them off over the winter and keep an eye on them to prevent lines from freezing. Even if you have freeze sensors or other fail-safes, it’s a good idea to drain the main line and turn off any auto schedules or other timers. It’s not like you’ll be doing a lot of watering in the winter anyway.
- Remove water hoses from the side of your house and add faucet covers to keep from freezing.
- Clear leaves and branches from the lawn. Snow or ice on these can damage the yard, but even worse, they are a trip and fall hazard.
- Check the caulking around doors and windows. This can help keep your house warm as temperatures dip.
With a little help from these tips for winterizing your home, you can make sure that you and your family stay as warm and comfortable as can be throughout the winter months, no matter what the weather throws at us. Don’t forget that we’ve always got plenty going on here at Sandbrock Ranch, even when the weather outside is frightful. Sign up and stay tuned to our Sandbrock Ranch newsletter for community updates all winter long. If you’re not already a part of our master-planned community in North Texas, we’d be happy to show you around!