I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but winter is just around the corner. It’s getting dark at night, the leaves are turning yellow, and the fireweed has gone to seed. These are all signs here in Alaska that we are getting close to winter.
Today I want to give you some tips on how to prepare your home for winter. One of the best investments you can make is buying a tube of caulk. Use this to caulk around windows and doors to keep drafts from freezing you out during our cold, Alaska winter. Adding weatherstripping around doors is a great idea. I’m also a real fan of the little foam inserts you can put behind your outlet and light switch covers. You only need to do this on exterior walls, and it makes a real difference.
This is also the time of year you want to finish up any exterior painting or staining projects. Soon it will be too cold, and painting in cold weather can result in your paint bubbling or not drying properly.
Before winter gets here, you absolutely want to have your boiler or furnace cleaned, serviced, and inspected. It’s never fun to have your heating system die when it’s 20 below zero! We have ours getting serviced today. I have a few good heating contractors here in Anchorage that I’m happy to recommend. Just call me or send me an e-mail. If you have forced air heat, you’ll also want to make sure you change your furnace filter every 2 months during the heating season.
If you have a fireplace or woodstove, it’s a good idea to have the chimney cleaned. Remember, fireplaces are only good in moderate weather. A regular wood-burning fireplace will suck the heat out of your home and is not good to use in weather much below 20-25 degrees. A woodstove, a fireplace with a woodstove insert, or a gas fireplace are all good options for heating your home in cold weather.
Clean out your gutters. As the leaves fall they will add to the debris and dirt that built up in your gutters this summer. Make sure to keep them cleared out so the gutters can do their job during this rainy fall weather.
Speaking of rainy fall weather, make sure you check your crawlspace for water and check to see if your sump pumps are working properly. While in your crawlspace, you’ll want to close up the vents soon before winter arrives.
If you are planning to sell your home this winter, or in the spring before the grass greens up, let me know. I’m happy to come out and take photos to use in marketing, so potential buyers can see what is under the 5 feet of snow in your yard!