While the first Colorado snow – or snows – of the season have come and gone, it’s not too late to prepare your home for the bulk of winter storms yet to come.
Here are a few tips from About.com on making sure your home can withstand the remainder of the winter:
Furnace preparations and ongoing upkeep
• Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts;
• Change furnace filters monthly;
• Switch out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat;
• Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
Inspect the exterior, doors and windows
• Inspect house exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes and seal them;
• Use weather stripping around doors and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house;
• Consider protecting basement window wells by covering them with plastic shields;
• Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage or install storm windows.
Check the foundation
• Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation;
• Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house;
• Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks (mice can slip through space as thin as a dime);
• Secure crawlspace entrances.
Install, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
• Some cities require a smoke detector in every room;
• Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/or water heater;
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work;
• Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
Prevent frozen pipes
• Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency;
• Drain all garden hoses;
• Insulate exposed plumbing pipes;
• If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
Prepare for an emergency
• Buy indoor candles and matches/lighter for use during a power shortage;
• Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book;
• Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment;
• Store extra bottled water and nonperishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location;
• Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
For the complete list of home-winterization tips, visit http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/qt/92607_WinterHom.htm.