It’s not even mid-September and our temperatures have dipped into the 40s during the day (welcome to Canada!!!)! If I wasn’t thinking about winterizing before, I definitely am now. Fall will blow by quickly and before we know it, the snow will fly. In order to winterize and get your home ready for the cold, here’s a list of things you should consider doing sometime between September and December depending on where you live and how quickly colder temperatures come to visit your neck of the woods. While there are over 30 items on the list, they won’t all apply to your home, and are relatively quick and easy to accomplish. The majority of the activities can be accomplished in one weekend.
Outdoor items are some of the most important things to get done. If you don’t take care of many of these, they could either cause a lot of damage or put you behind once spring arrives. The tricky thing is, you need to time it just right. If you take care of some of these items too soon, they’ll need to be done a second time e.g raking the garden. At the same time, if you wait too long you might find yourself in a jam if the weather quickly changes.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts
- Clean and store or cover patio furniture
- Clean and store or cover grille
- Clean and store kids outdoor toys e.g. balls, water table, kiddie pools etc.
- Clean off porches and decks
- Clean and store bird houses
- Cover air conditioning unit
- Stain or re-stain fences
- Drain garden hoses and store for the season
- Turn off water valve or insulate exterior spigots
- Remove annuals from the garden
- Do a final round of weeding
- Before the first snow, clean-up leaves and mow yard one last time
- Fertilize the grass with a Fall/Winter fertilizer mix
- Rake the garden
- Check outdoor lighting and replace bulbs
- Get HVAC/furnace serviced
- Replace furnace filter
- Check weather stripping on doors
- Caulk around windows
- Get firewood supply ready for wood burning fireplaces
- Have your chimney cleaned
- Check smoke detectors
- Check carbon monoxide detectors
- Drain your hot water heater… you can improve the efficiency by 50%
- Exchange summer and winter clothes
- Drain gas from yard equipment
- Rearrange summer equipment and winter equipment e.g. put away lawn mower and bring out snow blower / snow shovel
- Clean and store bikes, wagons, beach toys and floats etc.
- Move paint and adhesives inside to avoid freezing
- Put on snow tires (nitrogen filled) and store summer tires
- Put a couple of extra blankets in the car
- Put an emergency kit in car
- Top up anti-freeze
- Top up washer fluid
The above lists touch on the majority of winterizing to-do’s. There are likely some activities that are not on the list, for example, things to do if you have a pool or hot tub. Growing up in the deep south, our winterizing activities typically occurred right before a deep freeze. Now that I’m in the frozen tundra, it takes more effort, but it is totally do-able. Whether you tackle the list in one weekend or over a few weeks, don’t get stressed, use the free-bee checklist (or print it and give it to your husband 😉 ) and knock it out! What other tips, tricks, and hacks do you have for winterizing your home and car?