SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — With freezing temperatures reaching the valley floor across the Wasatch Front and across Northern Utah for the back half of the week, now is a good time to start winterizing your home.
ABC4 has put together a checklist of things to take a look at as we head into snow season in the Beehive State.
If you haven’t swept out your chimney in a while, this is the time to do it. According to Lowe’s, it’s very easy for animal nests to be found in chimneys. Other buildup like creosote and soot should be removed as best you can.
WEATHER STRIPPING, CAULK
There are dozens of places where heat can escape from your home, and sealing your doors and windows is one of the cheapest and most effective methods to keep your heating bills from skyrocketing. Lowe’s also reminds homeowners to take a caulk gun into the attic and attempt to seal off any places where heat might be escaping. You should also look for places where water is getting into your attic and caulk those breaks shut.
BRING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS
Plants and outside equipment like grills and furniture should move indoors for the season to avoid being damaged. Have a propane tank on your grill? Close the valve and disconnect your tank, which should stay outdoors. Got outdoor flower pots? You may want to empty them so they don’t fill with freezing water. Potting soil can also expand over the winter, shattering your pots.
TAKE A QUICK TOUR OF THE ROOF
A lot of snow will be making its home on your roof this winter, so make sure you’re not suffering from broken or damaged shingles. Give the roof a quick sweep to get rid of the fall debris. Also, check your gutters and make sure they’re clear of leaves and debris.
WRAP OR EMPTY THE PIPES, SPRINKLER
Make sure your pipes are properly protected. Disconnect your water hoses and make sure you drain any water out of them before freezing temperatures bust them open.
PROTECT YOUR A/C UNIT
The last thing you want is icicles falling into your outdoor A/C unit over the winter. While completely wrapping your unit isn’t recommended, as rodents can crawl under wraps and condensation can accumulate, accelerating rust. You should at least cover the grill on the top of your unit with plywood to keep the fan inside safe
The checklist above might seem blindingly obvious, unless this winter is your first in Utah. However, there are a few other items to consider that you might not immediately remember to take care of.
DRAIN THE GAS FROM SMALL ENGINES
The last thing you’re going to want to do in the spring when you go to start your lawnmower is find the gas in the tank has gummed up your carburetor. Family Handyman recommends sucking the gas out of the tank with a turkey baster and running the engine dry. Non-oxygenated gas is expensive, but has a longer shelf life if you don’t want to keep the tank completely dry. Fuel stabilizer can also help.
LUBE YOUR CAR WINDOWS, TRUNK AND WEATHER STRIPPING
A can of Teflon spray can make a world of difference in preventing your windows and trunk freezing shut this winter. Spray down locks, latches, hinges and window channels. This should take no more than 20 minutes. Family Handyman can walk you through the process.
CHANGE YOUR WIPER BLADES
Special winter wiper blades are sealed in a number of places, preventing ice from accumulating, but also keeping the blades from sticking.
TAKE CARE OF OUTDOOR BATTERIES
Got a boat or ATV that has to brave the elements this winter? Remember, batteries will lose their charge if they sit idle. Consider disconnecting them and bringing them inside, charging them every six weeks or so. Do not, however, leave a battery on the charger for the entire season.
CLEAN YOUR ATTIC VENTS
A leaf blower or a can of compressed air could help you blow out your attic vents, keeping them from forming ice dams over the winter.