Most people prefer summer over winter, not because summer is objectively a better season; it’s mainly because winter can be very harsh. The season is markedly cold and dry, and thelow humidity and temperatureslead to dry skin, windburns, and other figurative (and literal) headaches.

But fans of winter rave about the comfort of keeping yourselfwarm on a cold day. That’s easier said than done, though; staying warm in the winter requires more preparation than buying a hoodie or sweater. You have to change your skincare routine, check your home’s heating system, buy new doors and windows, and much more. Most of the preparation revolves around some part of your house, so here’s how you can go about readying your house for the winter season.

Ice Dams and Gutters

An ice dam refers to a mass of ice that forms due to meltwater flowing down a roof and refreezing. As thename suggests, ice dams obstruct water flow.

If it’s cold enough, this water freezes and the ice dam grows. As meltwater continues to build up behind the dam, it may seep into your home through leaks. This results in deterioratinginsulation, damaged shingles, mold, moss, and mildew.

Clogged gutters are a leading cause of this issue. Debris buildup can clog gutters, preventing water from draining off and away from your roof. Since the water can’t drain, it builds up, and if the temperature drops, it’ll freeze, leading to an ice dam.

Cleaning thegutters will dramatically reduce the risk of ice dams forming. You can also add extensions to thegutters to further protect your home from water damage. Extensions will make sure the water drains away from your house’s foundation.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System

The uniting goal of most winter preparations is to keep residentswarm. Your heating system leads the charge toward this goal. However, if it isn’t well-maintained, it’s going to stumble along the way.

Most HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systemshave a lifespan of somewhere between 12 and 15 years. This is just a standard range, and in reality, there can be outliers. For instance,apoorly-maintained HVAC system can struggle to perform for 10 years, while a well-maintained system can comfortably reach 20.

Getting your HVAC system checked before the cold hits is critical if you want to have a tolerable, if not comfortable, winter. If you aren’t proactive about this, you could find yourself fending off the cold with only clothes and blankets.

Hire a reliable HVAC technician to examine your HVAC system for potential faults; they’ll be able to fix whatever problems they find. Besides keeping you warm, this will keep you safe, as malfunctioning HVAC systems can lead to carbon monoxide buildup, which can be fatal.

Chimney and Vent Cleaning

Besides your HVAC system, you should focus on thechimneys and vents, and make sure that they’re clean. An HVAC system inspection may result in a recommendation to get your vents cleaned, but all inspections don’t necessarily include cleaning. Even if they seem on the fence about cleaning your vents, the safe option is always to get thevents and chimneys cleaned.

Cleaning them out ensures that carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes don’t build up in your home. Clean chimneys will also make sure there’s no toxic gas buildup, and will prevent chimney fires. Not only do these interventions boost warmth, but they also keep all the residents safe.

Besides cleaning, you should also only burn fresh firewood. Rotten wood is moist, so when it burns, it’ll create a lot of smoke, leading to creosote building up in the chimney. So, burning rotten firewood increases the odds of a chimney fire occurring, since creosote is extremely combustible.

Door and Window Replacement

Replacements are essential when caulking your windows and doors doesn’t cut it. Caulking is a process where gaps between door and window frames and their siding are sealed with caulk (a waterproof filler). This closes gaps, preventing heat from escaping.

However, this isn’t necessarily enough to prevent heat loss, especially with older doors and windows. Doors and windows deteriorateover time, and eventually, they reach a point where maintenance and repairs don’t cut it. Both can wear down due towinds, rain, insects, and more.

Winter is home to strong winds and blizzards that can do a number on doors and windows. In fact, weaker windows and doors will probably crumble under the force.Even if they don’t break, their ability to prevent heat escape may be compromised. So, to be on the safe side, you should get some new doors and windows.

With these tips in mind, you should be set for a warm and comfortable winter.

About the Author

The author is a door designer and manufacturer who works at Pinky’s Iron Doors. In their free time, they enjoy Broadway and indulge in delectable Italian cuisine.

Their work involves the production of various doors, windows, and locks, such as steel windows, steel doors, iron doors, and black steel doors. They also provide door maintenance tools such as transoms, sidelights, and iron door sprays.