Summer was hot, great and awesome, but Fall is in full swing now, which means that the inevitable Winter months are upon us. This also means that it is time for homeowners to start making initial efforts and plans to prepare their homes for the cold, rainy, frosty and snowy days coming in the horizon. Even though California residents, especially those in Southern California, might not feel the weather change drastically as some others in other states and California mountain would, there is still a very sharp change in the climate as the weather becomes cooler, rain starts falling more often, regular morning frosts, lots of snow in parts of the state and so on.

Winterization is very important as it helps keep your home in the best shape for the cold period, reduces future cost and expenditure on heating, keeps your home healthy and safe, helps you to be more comfortable during this season, prevents damages, accidents, and injuries, amongst other benefits.

So considering a lot of vital factors, here’s some advice on how to winterize your California home:

  • Inspect and Prepare your Furnace

First thing to do is to inspect and make sure your furnace is in a very good working condition. This is done by getting an HVAC professional to take a good look and clean the air ducts. Other measures include changing the furnace filters, switching to a programmable thermostat and adjusting it to automatically lower the temperature when you are not at home, removing all flammable materials from around the furnace surroundings, etc.

  • Inspect and Prepare your Fireplace

Call a chimney sweep to help you clean your chimney properly, remove soot, debris and other unwanted dirt and obstructions. After this, carry out a test to make sure the chimney would draw up smoke by lighting newspapers up in the fireplace. If the smoke doesn’t rise up in the chimney, then there is probably still some obstruction in the way. Inspect the connectors in the gas fireplace, repair any open mortar joints, clean glass fireplace doors with a vinegar solution. You could also add some ashes from the fireplace to gently clean the glass.

  • Inspect your Water Heater

Almost nobody enjoys having cold showers during wintertime, therefore it is recommended you inspect your water heater prior to winter to prevent water heater failure, which would cost more to repair when the season comes. Inspect the tank for any signs of corrosion which might have been caused by high moisture content in that area.

  • Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

Inspect the exterior of your home for crevice cracks, flaking and peeling paint, scrape and cover any spots, clean and protect stairs with proper sealers, clean your outdoor cooling system condensing unit, trim overhanging trees, wash windows, check for any air or water leaks, add weather stripping to all doors and windows for added protection. You can also add insulation if necessary. If you are in a region with frost and snow, close off crawl space vents and wrap pipes and spigots to prevent water damage from bursting water pipes.

  • Inspect Roof, Gutters and Downspouts

Adding extra insulation would prevent warm air from appearing on your roof and causing damage. I would advise you replace worn out or damaged roof tiles also. Remove leaves from roof and gutters and use a garden hose on the downspouts to remove dirt and leaves.

  • Run Ceiling Fans on Reverse

This is the simplest winterizing technique. Adjusting your ceiling fan to rotate in the reverse direction pushes down rising warm air and recirculates it around the whole room. Doing this while running your heater would keep your home quite warm and save on your heating bill for the cold period of winter.

  • Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The cold winter weather leaves us more prone to fire breakouts and carbon monoxide poisonings due to increased usage of the furnace, so these detectors are highly necessary for safety purposes. If you have them already, check to ensure they are functioning properly.

  • Get an Emergency Kit

This involves getting all the necessary things which could come in handy during winter season and setting up in the right way generally. Stuff like candles, lighters, backup batteries for electronic equipment, blankets, fire extinguishers, an actual first-aid kit incase of injuries and accidents, plus others, should be put in place in preparation for the cold months in the horizon.