Here in North Idaho we just went 80 days without rain but now we had a day of rain and snow in the mountains. Time to put the summer toys away and prepare for snow. We will often make sure the car is ready for the cold and the boat is winterized but neglect the house we live in. Sometimes we will prepare some of the common places in the home but others we forget to even check. So here is a checklist to make your home more cozy and save a little on your heating this year.

1. Furnace Filter

This a good time to check your filter. A dirty filter reduces the efficiency and will cost you more to heat your home. A good rule is to change it every 3-6 months. 

2. Furnace Maintenance 

Schedule a service for your furnace. This is something you need to hire a professional to service. Newer furnaces need serviced every two years and annually for older furnaces.

3. Inspect weatherstripping

Now is the time to check the weatherstripping around your doors. The best way is using a thermal camera which is a service we provide with our yearly maintenance inspection . But at the very least visually inspect them for damage. 

4. Check Attic Leaks

Check to make sure attic access is sealed properly. Check all places that electrical, plumbing and venting go through ceiling into attic. This is a good time to check the insulation in your attic. Up here in Idaho you should have a R value of around R49. This will help keep warm air inside in the winter and cool air inside in the summer.

5. Chimney Cleaned and Inspected 

It is important to hire a Chimney Sweep to annually clean and inspect your chimney. 

6. Set Fan Blades to Winter Setting 

Fan blades should turn clockwise in the winter. This will lift cool air to the ceiling and push the heat down. There will be toggle switch on the fan body to switch between clockwise and counter clockwise.

7. Check Exterior Water Faucets 

Check and make sure all Faucets outside are frost free and functioning properly. Make sure all hoses are drained and stored in a safe place. 

8. Prevent Ice Dams 

If your home had a lot of icicles and ice dams last winter you need to either check or hire a professional to check for adequate air flow and insulation.

9. Check Roof 

If you have comp shingles check to make sure none have come loose or are damaged. Metal roofing check for any punctures and all screws are tightened properly. Check all flashings around roof penetrations   

10. Check Caulking 

Check caulking between siding and the window and door frames. It is best to use Silicone caulk on exterior repairs.

We at Jonesy’s Home Inspection offer a yearly inspection and will check these areas for you among many more things to check for before the cold and snow is upon us. Stay tuned for more tips on getting your Home ready for Winter.