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North Star's Winterization Tips & Tricks

Winterize with North Star!

Fall has officially arrived in the Pacific Northwest! Bringing with it colder temperatures and neighborhoods punctuated by the bright, changing leaves. Homes abound with seasonal decorations like pumpkins and wreaths as you replace your shorts and summer dresses with flannel and rain boots.

The shift between summer and fall can be drastic here, but your wardrobe shouldn’t be the only thing you adjust for the weather. Now is the time to start preparing your home for the changing seasons. Winters here can be long, cold and wet; not properly weather-proofing your home can result in costly - and avoidable - repairs. Below is a list of 10 steps you can take to make sure your home is ready for the next few seasons.

Be Prepared for Seasons' Change

  1. Clear out your Gutters. Grab a ladder, a pair of gloves, your kid’s sand shovel, and a tarp. After you’ve cleared the gutters of any gunk, make sure to flush them and the downspouts down with a hose. If getting on a ladder isn’t your thing, you can hire someone to do it for you. Cost is anywhere from $50 - $250, depending on the size of your home.
  2. Clean out your Chimney. This one is important (well, they all are) if you want to avoid a possible house fire due to chemical buildup on the interior of your chimney.  You can hire a certified chimney sweep to do this, or do it yourself if you’re comfortable with it, though it’s not the easiest of DIY projects.
  3. Replace Furnace Filters. This helps to make them more efficient, and if there’s a time you want them to be as efficient as possible, it’s over the next several months.
  4. Check for drafts coming from doors or windows. Put your hand near the edge of a door or window. If you don’t feel a leak, you’re good. But if you do, update your weather stripping - most of the supplies to do it yourself can be found at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
  5. Shut off outside faucets (after you’re done clearing out your gutters, of course). Remove hoses and wrap the faucets with insulation. This is easy to do yourself, and materials can be found at any hardware store.
  6. Fire Detectors. Change the batteries. And perhaps look into updating your detector to electric with battery backup.
  7. Ceiling Fans. Reverse your ceiling fans clockwise. Doing so helps to push down the warm air pooling in the ceiling so it circulates in the living space.
  8. Insulation. Add a layer of insulation to your attic and crawl space. It’s just another step to keep your home warm and cozy. If you know how to do this yourself, you can find materials at a hardware store, but you can also hire a professional to do this.
  9. Yard cleanup. This might sound obvious, but clearing your garden of dead leaves and weeds will help to mitigate any fungi or diseases that might kill your plants in the spring.
  10. Freeze Prevention. Let your pipes drip in below-freezing weather. It’s important to turn on the pipes just enough so they drip and the waters in the pipes don’t freeze, which could cause the pipe to burst.

Do these things and enjoy the upcoming holiday season comfortably without worry!