Winter is the time of year when we all want to stay warm and cozy inside our homes. However, with the colder temperatures and harsh weather conditions, there are certain items in our homes that require extra attention to keep them functioning properly. Below are the top 5 features in your home that you have to pay extra attention to during the winter season. These include windows and doors, roofing, siding, and your HVAC system. 

Inspect windows for any issues

Your home’s windows should be one of the most watched over features of your home during the winter months. This is because your windows can pose some vulnerabilities during the harsh winter.  Windows can account for a significant amount of heat loss in a home at any time of the year. If your windows are aged past their lifespan or are poorly insulated, they may let in drafts, which can significantly increase your heating costs. By paying attention to your windows during the winter, you can identify any issues and take steps to improve their energy efficiency. Also, if the windows are not properly sealed, it can allow pests and other animals to come in. Check for drafts by placing your hand around the frames of your windows and feel for any noticeable air and reseal accordingly.

Additionally, during the winter, the temperature inside your home is likely to be warmer than the temperature outside. This can cause condensation to form on the inside of your windows, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Keeping a keen eye on your windows during the winter can help you identify and address condensation issues before they become a bigger problem. When checking your windows it is also important to inspect them for any damage or wear and tear, such as cracks, missing caulking, or loose hardware. Repairing these issues during the winter can help prevent further damage and ensure that your windows will function properly when spring and summer come around.

Doors should offer security and protection 

Another area in the home you should keep a close eye on during the winter is your doors, specifically your entrances and exits. Similar to windows, cold air can easily infiltrate a poorly insulated or ill-fitting door, causing your heating costs to skyrocket. This not only wastes energy and money but also puts a strain on the environment. Additionally, drafts can make your home feel colder and less comfortable, even if the temperature is set to a higher level. Keeping your doors properly sealed can prevent the headaches of an increasing energy bill. In addition, a poorly maintained door can also lead to water damage and mold growth. During the winter, snow and ice can accumulate around the door frame, and if it melts and seeps into the door or surrounding areas, it can cause significant damage. This can lead to costly repairs and can also pose health risks if mold develops.

The cold winter months can cause doors to be difficult to open or close which can be a safety hazard. If a door is frozen shut or sticks due to warping or swelling, it can be hard to quickly and easily exit the home in an emergency. In contrast, a door that is difficult to open may make it difficult for emergency services to enter the home in an emergency scenario. Always inspect your doors for ease of access, especially for doors that are not used as often such as side entry doors. Lastly, paying attention to your doors in the winter months can also improve the overall appearance and curb appeal of your home. A well-maintained door can add to the aesthetic of your home and make it look more inviting and well-cared for no matter the time of year.

Look above and check on the roofing 

Winter can be a harsh and unforgiving season for your roof, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures putting it under a great deal of stress. It is best to ensure that your roof stays in good condition and continues to protect your home from the elements, it is vital to pay attention to it during the winter months. One of the biggest reasons to keep a close eye on your roof in the winter is to prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams occur when the snow melts on the roof and then refreezes along the eaves, creating a barrier that prevents water from flowing off the roof. This can lead to water damage and leaks, which can be costly and time-consuming to repair. Additionally, heavy snow and ice can cause damage to your roof’s structure, such as cracking or bending. This can weaken the roof and make it more susceptible to leaks and damage. Lastly, paying attention to your roof in the winter also means keeping a watch out for any signs of damage, such as missing shingles or cracked tiles. By catching these issues early, you can have them repaired before they become major issues, saving you money and hassle in the long run. Overall, being attentive to your roof in the winter is a crucial step in maintaining the overall health and longevity of your home.

Exterior surfaces like siding need attention too 

The siding of your home is another area that you should watch closely during the winter months. During the colder months, the cold temperatures and snow can cause your siding to expand and contract. This natural process can lead to cracking and warping if the temperatures wildly fluctuate between warm and cold. Additionally, the freezing and thawing process can eventually lead to leaks and water damage on both the exterior and interior of your home. This type of issue is also commonly associated with mildew and mold growth, which can attract pests to the infected areas. Finding and addressing these issues even during the winter can prevent further problems from growing. 

Similar to windows and doors, properly maintained siding can assist in improving the energy efficiency of your home. When your siding is in good condition, it will help to keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside, which can help to reduce your energy bills. Conducting a walkthrough bi-weekly around your home looking for any signs of vulnerability can be an included home routine for general maintenance. 

Inspect your central heating System

The central feature in your home that handles the heating and cooling of the interior is your HVAC system. Periodically inspecting your HVAC system is crucial for ensuring that your home stays warm and comfortable throughout the colder months. Not only does a well-maintained system run more efficiently, saving you on energy costs, but it also prevents issues that can lead to inconvenient repairs and potential safety hazards. If you are unfamiliar with exactly all the details of how your HVAC works, you can start by scheduling a professional inspection and tune-up before the winter season begins. This will ensure that any potential issues are caught and addressed early on and that your system is running at optimal performance. Additionally, be sure to regularly check and change your air filters as they can become clogged with dust and debris, which can impede the flow of air and reduce the efficiency of your system. During the winter season, an inspection can still be done along with repairs. 

Another important aspect of maintaining your heating system is keeping the area around it clean and clear. This includes vacuuming or sweeping the area around the furnace or boiler and keeping any combustible materials such as papers or cleaning supplies at least three feet away from the unit. Lastly, be sure to keep an eye out for any unusual sounds or smells coming from your heating system. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is best to call a professional to come and take a look.

The winter season can be harsh on many items in your home, but by paying extra attention to certain areas, you can help to prevent damage and ensure that your home stays warm and comfortable. In most cases, the best way to protect your home in any season is by being proactive in your maintenance routines. Take the necessary steps to prepare your windows and doors, and other vital areas of your home, to make sure you have a cozy and safe winter season.