Austin is well known for its scorching hot summers, but only Austinites know that winter in the hill country can be no joke either. Snow isn’t completely out of the question and freezes happen regularly. Just like you prepare for the winter by wrapping up in the cold, eating more hot soups, and using a thicker lotion, your home needs that extra attention too. We’ve created a tried and true checklist for you to use to prepare your home for the winter weather.

Get your heating and air conditioning system serviced

It’s much better to catch a problem in the more mild months than it is in the dead of winter. Hire a HVAC contractor to check things out and at the very least, change your air filter!

Paint and seal exterior wood

It’s a step that’s easy to maintain, but if neglected, costly to Fix. Wood trims around windows and doors needs to be protected from the elements to avoid rotting. Walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect wood for chipping paint and peeling caulk. If you find either of these, then simply scrape it away and apply fresh paint or caulk.

Clean your chimney and fireplace

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, then you’ll want to make sure you have it cleaned out before the cold weather hits. Hire a chimney sweep to ensure your fireplace is safe to use. Swap out old, rotted wood for new wood and move the rotted wood away from your house. There’s nothing like enjoying a warm drink and a movie by the fireplace on a cold evening!

Clean your gutters

Fall is over and the trees are bare. Meaning, your gutters are chock full of debris. Take the time to clean out your gutters so that they work properly come winter.

Check smoke detectors

Did you know that winter is when most house fires occur? It makes sense with the heat constantly running, fireplaces being used, and candles being burned. So rest easy by making sure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in perfect working condition.

Drain outdoor water faucets

We all know that water expands when cold causing pipes to burst and flooding or leaking to occur. Get ahead of this problem by draining all of your outdoor faucets. Just shut off the valve to the faucet you need to drain and then open the spigot to allow the water to drain out.

Prevent your attic from becoming a rodent hotel

First, make sure branches are trimmed away from your roof. Second, inspect the roof for poorly screened vents, holes in the soffits, open plumbing stacks, and even attic entry points through the chimney. Finally, use a headlamp to inspect your attic. Look for sunlight entry points and animal tracks that can lead you to the entry point.

Enjoy your winter, stress-free, by following this checklist to ensure your home is ready for the cold weather! Regular maintenance of your home will cut down costs in the future. Trust us, your home and your peace of mind will thank you! Happy hibernating!