If you have a home that will be vacant during the winter months, steps must be taken to ensure that your home is as protected as possible from the harshness of winter. Even if your home will not be vacant, it is important to perform certain tasks that will prevent higher bills during this time. What are things that you can do to winterize? What are the possible complications if you don’t?


The temperatures during the winter months can go well below freezing. When you winterize, one of the issues that need to be addressed is if you need to shut off various water supplies to the house. If you will be staying in the house, you might just need to shut off the water to the outside. If you will be leaving the house, then you need to shut off the main water supply. You need to make sure that all the pipes have been drained so that the water in them does not freeze and potentially cause the pipes to burst. The outside hose(s) will need to be emptied and stored as well.


You want to make sure that leaves and debris are removed from your gutters. This debris can cause water to collect and create blockages. This condition is known as an ice dam. This can cause further problems if water begins to back up into the ceiling or walls of the home and then becomes a structural problem or begins to form mold. If your gutters are kept free from debris, then water can flow freely off the roof like it was intended. You can clear the gutters at the beginning of the season and potentially have someone check on them (if your house will be empty) as the season progresses.


If your home will remain empty for the season, you will want to set your temperature to a reasonable level. If you set your home close to 50 degrees, then your home will remain warm enough to ensure you will not have freeze damage. If you will be in the home, then you can set it to the most comfortable level that keeps your costs down. Either way, you will want to look around your home and make sure that you do not have drafts coming from anywhere. It will be hard to maintain the proper temperature of your home if you have cooler air seeping in through the windows or door frames.