As the leaves fall and the nights grow colder, we’re reminded once again that winter is on its way. If you haven’t started already, now is the time to winter proof your home in preparation for long, cold months of freezing temperatures. With school in session, homeschool families should be even more diligent in preparing their house for snow, wind, and ice. Get the entire family involved and ensure your home stays cozy, warm, and safe this year with this helpful winterizing checklist:

Outside Preparations
  • Cover air conditioners – Increase the life-span of your unit by covering your air conditioner with a factory cover or a breathable material.
  • Drain outdoor sprinklers, faucets, and water hoses – If faucets cannot be drained, wrap with insulation or replace with a frost-free unit.
  • Weather-proof doors, windows, and other openings – Seal gaps with outdoor caulking. Install storm doors and windows. Check for holes in the siding and foundation and caulk.
  • Clean gutters – Take a garden hose and flush. Make sure water drains away from the foundation to prevent basement flooding.
  • Inspect roof and attic crawl spaces – Check for leaks and perform necessary repairs to shingles. Use rubber cement to fasten down loose shingles and check for gaps in the sheet metal around chimneys if you have a fireplace.
  • Check outside lights and fixtures – Replace burned-out bulbs and inspect electrical wiring to fixtures.
  • Trim trees and hedges – Spare your house repairs from broken branches by trimming back trees in the fall.
  • Store outdoor patio items – Cover barbeque grills or store inside with lawn furniture and ornaments.
  • Mark snow removal hazards – Use 3-foot high reflective markers to pinpoint water/gas lines and other major obstacles. Skip the toxic salt deicers and purchase kitty litter or sand for icy sidewalks and driveways.
Inside Preparations
  • Clean and check your furnace – Don’t wait until the temperatures drop to 20° to have your furnace inspected. Call a professional for an annual safety check up and test run your furnace a few times early in the fall. Replace worn or dirty filters.
  • Homes heated with wood should have chimneys cleaned and inspected. Eliminate the fire hazard of creosote build up and don’t forget to check the spark arrestor on top of the chimney for tears.
  • Homes with heat pumps should make sure the outdoor unit has ample air circulation.
  • Homes using baseboard heat should ensure no flammable objects are near the heaters. Clean by vacuuming.
  • Check batteries and fire extinguishers - Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure extinguishers are operational and easily accessible.
  • Clean and inspect water heater – Remove sediment at the base of your tank.
  • Stock your bookshelves and cabinets – Of course, every homeschooling family knows that a home is never prepared for winter’s worst unless it has plenty of educational books, videos, and games. Visit our Web Store and discover a few exciting items for your family.
There’s no need to fear the cold, north winds this year. Winterize your home now and save yourself time and money. Eliminate any potential problems from interfering with your homeschooling and be ready to tell Old Man Winter, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”