Sandee Smith: Prepare your home for winter



Proactive maintenance really pays off when it comes to winter preparation since property damage caused from cold and ice can be extremely costly. To jumpstart you into winter, here are six winter preparation tips:

Check heating and ventilation systems

Remove window air conditioning units and make sure window seal is tight. Switch ceiling fans to the clockwise position which will help blow the warm air downward and will enhance energy efficiency. Also, make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.

Consider weather stripping

Applying weather stripping around older windows and doors can help prevent air leaks and is relatively affordable. Additionally, it will save you money in the long run by helping seal the warm air in, and the cold air out of your home.

Prevent pipes from freezing

In bitter cold weather, do not turn the heat down too much when you are out of the house. Granted, you may not be in the house to enjoy it, but your pipes will. Also, look around your home for any pipes that may be exposed to the outside, and wrap them with insulation. Check your local hardware store for foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves that are easy to install. Let faucets drip during serious cold snaps to provide relief for your pipes.

Check your gutters

Blocked gutters can allow melting ice and snow to seep into your roof or flood your home’s foundation, so make sure your gutters are clean. If they are clogged with leaves and debris, they are more apt to freeze and cause blockages.

Call the chimney sweep

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually since a dirty chimney can affect air quality and also become a fire hazard. Keep in the mind, the more you use it, the more likely you need to have it cleaned.

Close down the sprinklers, deck and patio

Shut down the sprinkler system and drain the hoses and place in the garage. Cover the patio furniture or better yet store it inside. Also, empty ceramic pots and bring them inside so they do not crack in the freezing temperatures.

While these property tips are helpful, think outside of the box in regards to what more you can do to prepare your home for winter. As we all know, temperatures in our area vary greatly, so it is best to be prepared for inclement weather of all types.

For more homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, contact the Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or The Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.

Sandee Smith is president of the Sierra Nevada Realtors and a Realtor with Realty Executives Nevada’s Choice in Carson City. She has been active in the real estate industry for more than 25 years in the areas of sales, lending and home staging. Smith values education and knowledge and has earned the following designations: Certified Residential Specialist, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Accredited Buyer’s Representative and Certified Negotiating Expert. She welcomes your real estate questions and can be reached at 775-250-6672 or


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