There's a lot to take care of, and the thought of quarantining in a house full of problems should inspire anyone. We're going to lay it out for you how to prepare.
1. Clean Gutters
Yes, we know nobody wants to hear it. We should do it every season, and most of us only do it when we buy and sell a house. It has no immediate payout for anyone who has no sense of object permeance or doing things for the future, so nobody ever talks about it. We highly suggest clearing your gutters, at least, once annually right after the leaves are done falling.
2. Re-Caulk Heat-Sinks
To prevent water and cold air from getting in, caulk your windows and doors. It will take you a few hours to re-caulk your house for the cost of a caulk gun and caulk, which costs about $20.
You caulk from the outside in. We recommend getting exterior caulk which better handle the elements, especially if you're reading form New England.
All you have to do is put the tube in the gun, slice the tip at an angle unless the gun does it for you when you load it, squeeze your caulk into the crevices, and run your finger along the line to ensure it's in there good.
3. Inspect Roofs
We were playing around about the gutters, people are pretty good about them, but everybody forgets about the roof. Give it a twice over and make sure there are no missing shingles or obvious breaches of integrity.
If you're less inclined towards scaling your home and would rather hire a contractor, they can handle any minor repairs same day. Sometimes that costs a pretty penny, especially around winter when they know people scramble, but that's business baby.
4. Reverse Fans
Warm air rises; we know. What most people are unaware of is that our fans have a switch on them. It changes the direction of the blades, which means it blows air in the other direction. When you find it, make sure the fan is off and not spinning when you switch it. Imagine going 80mph down the highway and shifting into reverse.
If you've ever felt cold laying down, then you stand up into a steam room, that's because the heats sitting on the ceiling. Turn your fan on reverse and it will blow the cold air you're sitting in upwards, pushing the hot air down to where you are and creating a air current/potion of even temperature.
5. Inspect Chimneys
To keep your family and home safe, get your chimney inspected and cleaned before each burning season—even if wood is not your primary source of heat, and you only use your fireplace for aesthetic reasons.
When you burn wood, deposits of creosote build up on the inside of your chimney. Creosote is cancerous and highly flammable. When enough of it builds up in your chimney, the smoke from a fire can cause it to ignite, which in turn can cause a chimney fire. Many home fires are caused by chimneys.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider installing a steel liner, which will help protect your home in the event of a chimney fire.
6. Address Gas-Powered Engines
Gasoline comes from dead organisms. Therefore, when removed from it's home and put into the external world, it decomposes pretty fast. If you've left gas in your lawn mower over the winter, you know what happens. Some machines have additives that keep the gas safe through the winter, like weed whackers that use 40-and-1 gas mixes. Check all of your gas-powered engines to make sure they're either empty, or prepared.
7. Confirm Insurance Coverage
We know what it's like to have to listen to their scripts-- all the same-- call an insurance agent and make sure your homes set. You want to make sure your current value is covered.
That sums up our winter home checklist. Good luck!