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First-Time Homeowners Checklist for Winterizing Your Home

First-Time Homeowners Checklist for Winterizing Your Home11/18/2021

As a first-time homeowner, there can be much excitement about decorating and settling into your new home. There may also be some unwelcome surprises such as repairs and minor issues you didn’t notice during the walk-through. Luckily, you can head off some of the biggest potential problems, such as a broken furnace, by winterizing your home in advance. Follow this checklist to prepare for your first winter as a new homeowner! 

First Time Homeowners: How To Winterize Your Home - Image of a house covered in snow

Check Your Heating

Turn on your heating system to make sure everything’s running smoothly. It’s also a good idea to schedule an annual tune-up and cleaning from a licensed HVAC contractor. If you don’t schedule an HVAC visit, make sure to replace your furnace’s air filter about every two months through the winter season. If you have an older home with radiators, you should also check to see that they are getting hot. This is also a good time to get a programmable or digital thermostat so you can heat your home more efficiently by turning the temperature down at night or when you’re not home. Finally, check your smoke detectors and replace any as needed—residential fires are more common in the wintertime. 

Make sure your heating system is running smoothly and consider an annual tune-up from an HVAC professional - HVAC pro checking a heating system

Insulate Your Home 

The most effective way to insulate your home is in the attic, which often has no insulation or too little. An insulated attic prevents hot air in the rooms below from rising into the attic. 

In addition to insulating your attic, it’s a good idea for your hot-water heater and pipes, too, especially here in New York and New Jersey where temperatures sometimes get low enough to freeze pipes. 

Speaking of your hot water heater, it’s a good idea to flush it to remove sediment. You can either do this yourself or call an HVAC and plumbing professional. 

Do your windows feel drafty? Consider insulated window treatments to help keep the heat in.

Insulate your attic and windows - Man caulking a window

Weatherproof Your Doors and Windows

Keep the weather where it belongs—outside. Caulk any holes or openings around windows, doors, air conditioners, and mail chutes. Add weatherstripping around the perimeter of windows and doors. If your front door doesn’t already have one, add a doorstrip to seal the gap between the bottom of the door and threshold. You can also use a draft guard under your entry doors to stop cold air from entering. Do you have a storm door in addition to your front door? This is another way to keep the weather out.

One last tip for inside is to set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise so that they push hot hair down from the ceiling toward the floor.

Prep The Outside of Your Home

While most of your focus may be on heating your home efficiently, take some time to also get your yard in order:

  • Clean up the yard and trim tree branches.
  • Remove and store your hose to avoid it freezing over. Also, shut off the water valve to the hose. 
  • Bring your plants inside. 
  • Store your grill. Close the tank valve and disconnect the tank if you have a gas grill with a propane tank.
  • Store outdoor furniture.
  • Clean the gutters. 

Don't forget to winterize the outside of your home. Remove and store your hose to avoid it freezing over - image of an outdoor hose

Better Banking, Better Solutions

At Palisades Credit Union, we build relationships with our members through a lifetime of financial solutions. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends schools in Rockland County, New York or Bergen County, New Jersey; New York State employees who work in the five New York City boroughs; Radio and Television Broadcast Engineers Local 1212, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO in New York, NY; and employees of USA Networks, who work in or are paid from New York, NY. Check out our blog for more financial tips and resources for new homeowners and become a member today! You can also visit us at one of our locations in Orangeburg, New City, or Nanuet. 

Want more ideas for fixing up your house? Check out The Best Upgrades to Increase Your Home's Value. 

Winterizing Your Home checklist item with decorative icons Check Your Heating System Insulate your attic Weatherproof your doors and windows Shut off the outside water valve and store your hose Store your outside furniture and grill, and bring in any outside plants Trim tree branches Clean your gutters

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