Unfortunately for mid-October 2022, we have already been seeing some snow in the Twin Ports area.  At the time of typing this, none of that snow has stuck around, but winter is certainly knocking.

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If you procrastinate like me, you may not have gone through a home winterization checklist yet.  Many people just wing it in that department and while that can be okay, there are a few items in particular you should consider taking at least a little time to consider before a deep freeze.

Test your furnace before winter

Modern furnace setting panel. Depth of field on the buttons.

By now if you live in the Twin Ports there is a good chance you already had to turn your furnace on this month.  Even if you have and it seems to be running okay, ask yourself when you last changed the furnace filter.  Once a year at a minimum is good practice and twice a year is even better for the air everyone in the home breaths.  Also check all of your home heating vents.  In my house multiple times a year I have to remind everyone that heating vents have one major downfall, they can't have junk blocking them.  Make sure those are clear of any clutter that will reduce how well your home is heated and consider cleaning them if they appear dirty.  While checking that, also check the exhaust vent for your furnace too.  Don't forget to replace the batteries in your home's carbon monoxide detectors too, and if you don't have one near your furnace, put it on your list to purchase ASAP.

Winterize air conditioners

background, no people
JJ Gouin

If you have a central air system, clean up any debris inside that outside unit.  Items such as leaves and sticks from trees can find their ways into them.  A good check and throwing the cover on is usually all you need.  If you have window units like I do, it's best practice to remove them if possible.  Clean them up too and store them away for the chilly season.

Winterize exterior water pipes

Most homes only have one or two of these, just shut off the water from inside the house, then open them up outside to drain any residual water in there.  Some people also opt to use an outdoor faucet cover for added protection of the interior lines.

Check over home insulation before winter

Smiling technician repairing an hot-water heater
Minerva Studio

This doesn't have to mean the core insulation of your home; it's more looking at things like hot water heater insulation and outlet plate insulation for those exterior plugins.  This takes minimal time and having that insulation in good condition can save you some coin on heating costs in the long run.

Inspect window and door seals


Much like the insulation mentioned above, do a once over on the doors and windows.  Look for cracked and dried caulking or any weather stripping that might be damaged.  Checking for air leaks is a good idea too, simply feel around the edges for drafts that might be coming through.

Inspect your roof before winter

Roofer builder worker dismantling roof shingles

A wet and sloppy foot of snow when winter starts off is not a good time to realize you have roof leaks.  If safe to do so, get on the roof and look for missing shingles, issues with any flashing, and also make sure your gutters are cleaned out.

There is plenty more that you can inspect on your home before winter, but these will get you pretty far with the bigger issues that can happen.  What else would you add to the list?

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