If you're a native Floridian, you might've never even considered winter home preparations. Days often stay above 40 degrees, after all, so why should you worry about freezing?
However, Florida winter is still colder than your home's used to during the spring and summer. Late fall is the ideal time to check the systems and take care of the easy-to-forget tasks to make sure nothing goes awry in January.
Why Should You Prepare?
If you're not buying the idea of having to 'winterize' your home, think about energy efficiency. While burst pipes and frozen debris in your gutters aren't too big of a risk in your state, failing to check the essentials can cost you money in the long run.
Taking some time to tackle these routine chores ensures peak performance all winter long. Think lower bills, cohesive warmth, and no risk of sudden accidents.
You could also be selling your home this cold season. Even so, you shouldn't skip these steps if you don't plan on spending the wintertime in your house.
The small repairs and checkups boost the appeal to potential buyers, possibly letting you profit even more from the sale. However, that's a different topic. You can navigate to this website for some fundamentals of selling a property any month of the year.
The point is, preparing the house for winter for the new owners can yield benefits for you.
There are two essential systems inside your home that require some pre-winter maintenance - heating and plumbing.
The Heating System
No matter which heating devices you use, the fall is the perfect season for scheduling a preventative maintenance appointment. It includes:
- Tightening electrical connections
- Checking the burners
- Applying lubricant
- Cleaning the blower motors
- Checking for carbon monoxide leaks
- Checking system controls
You don't have to call in professionals, either. Most of these are easy to do by yourself, especially if you're DIY-inclined. Giving your heating a thorough once over guarantees your systems are up and running all winter long.
Also, have a test run before heating becomes necessary to use. After all, it's been in hibernation for months. Set the thermostat to 80 degrees and check whether the air around the heating body feels warm.
The Plumbing System
People in cold climates often have to face frozen pipes, which are not only inconvenient but prohibitively expensive to repair.
While it doesn't happen as often in Florida, insulating exposed plumbing is still a way to go, just in case. Plus, it saves energy on water heating.
Your duties don't end inside the home. Let's finish by discussing the outdoor essentials.
This one isn't always necessary, but adding some insulation can do wonders for energy efficiency if you live in an old home.
If you're going for cost-effectiveness, focus on the attic. The rest of your space can otherwise draw a lot of cold air from it. Adding an insulation layer to outside walls is another way to maintain indoor warmth, although it's tricky to DIY.
Unsealed doors and windows can lead to air leaks, making your home much colder and less cozy.
Check whether your weatherstripping is sufficient by shutting it over a piece of paper. If you can easily pull it out, you need to replace it.
There are multiple weatherstripping options available nowadays, and whichever you choose, installation is a breeze. When it comes to windows, some caulk to the joints does the trick.
Roofs & Gutters
You can spend months with a broken roof or loose gutters without even noticing. However, fall and winter are the times when these issues become concerning.
Climb up there and check for missing or broken shingles. Clean your gutters and make sure they're steady for an inconvenience-free winter.
The Bottom Line
These tasks are mostly budget-friendly and not time-consuming. They bring peace of mind when the colder days (well, nights) come to Florida.
So, whether you're staying or leaving, ensuring the heating and plumbing are running smoothly, insulating, and sealing are little chores to help you make the most of this sunny state's winter months.