Anyone who has spent any length of time in Connecticut knows how unpredictable the weather can be. One day is sunny and 50 degrees and the next is below freezing with a fierce Nor’easter dumping a foot of snow on the ground. If you own a home in Connecticut winter can be a tricky season. The best way to deal with the sudden climate shifts is to follow a few tips on how best to prepare your home for winter.
At By Carrier we want you to be safe during the winter so we offer the following suggestions for winterizing your home.
Test the Heating System
Don’t wait until mid-December to try the heat. Everyone is concerned about high energy bills but there is no reason to wait for the temperature to drop below freezing to turn the heat on. If you wait until the weather gets really cold there is a good chance that water in the pipes may be frozen and when the heater kicks on the pipes can burst. Don’t let this happen to you. Test the heating system in October or November to make sure it is working properly.
Clean the Gutters
Before winter starts it is a good idea to have the gutters on your home professionally cleaned. Fall is a cluttered season and by the end of November your gutters could be filled with dead leaves, twigs, pine needles and other debris. If this junk is not removed it could cause the gutters to clog and when ice melts this will lead to ice dams. When water can’t drain properly it starts to creep back up under the shingles and leak through the ceiling. Have your gutters cleaned thoroughly before winter to avoid this headache.
Review your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Unfortunately most homeowners get their home insurance statement and quickly file it away without reviewing it. This can be a big mistake if there are limitations on your insurance and you are not aware of it. For instance, if your roof is over 15 years old and has not been repaired or maintained there’s a good chance you will be denied an adjustment claim if a storm causes the roof to cave in. An adjuster will determine you could have taken steps to avoid the damage and then you are left paying for a new roof out of pocket. Check your insurance coverage and make sure it protects what matters to you the most.