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5 Easy Steps to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Winter is harsh on almost everything exposed to it, including your home. Even though the snowfall may look pretty, those freezing temperatures can cause serious damage to your home both inside and outside, leaving you with expensive repairs come springtime.

Here are some important things you should know about preparing your home for Syracuse winter.

What Could Happen to Your Home During Winter

The cold weather can affect your home in several ways. Some of these include:

1. HVAC systems can fail.

A buildup of snow and ice can cause your Syracuse home’s heating system to shut down, leaving you cold and frustrated. Icicles that accumulate above your outdoor HVAC unit can also damage it. When snow melts, it can leak into your system, freeze again, and expand—leading to corrosion and rust buildup in your HVAC unit.

2. Your gutters can fall.

Depending on how much snow and ice buildup is present, any gutter system can be pulled down by the weight of snow and ice. Additionally, if you have snow that accumulates on your solar panels, it can slide off, taking your gutters with it. Split gutter downspouts caused by frozen water will also cause leaks and water to run along the house, potentially compromising the foundation or getting into cracks in the foundation once the water thaws.

3. Your pipes can burst.

Cold weather can cause damage to more than just the pipes outside your home. Ice can form on exposed pipes, especially in the basement and attic. This could cause a lot of damage, and you may have to move out while the repairs are made.

4. Your chimney can crack.

If you build roaring fires during winter, your chimney may be able to withstand some pretty intense heat, but in cold weather it will be less durable. 

As soon as the sun hits the brick or cinderblock, it begins to warm and expand. As the sun sets, the bricks or blocks contract, which causes any moisture to freeze and crack. As a result, the chimney may develop cracks and eventually deteriorate.

5. Falling branches can damage your home.

A three-inch layer of old packed snow can weigh up to six pounds. A snow-packed branch that falls on your roof, skylight, or even wooden steps can cause serious, and often costly, damage. As a result of snow accumulation, snapped branches often cause power outages, which can lead to other problems such as a lack of heat and burst pipes.

Prepping Your Home for the Winter

1. Protect your HVAC from winter

A professional HVAC company can provide your Syracuse home with enough heating in the winter. They’ll check the filters, install a heating pump properly, and make sure your HVAC system is working at its best when it’s cold.

2. Check your guttering

Get rid of any leaves and debris from your gutters to prevent a buildup that could result in icy, heavy gutters collapsing when the weather gets cold. It also pays to check your gutters now and then to prevent buildup during the winter season.

3. Look after your pipes

Watch out for cracks or holes in the walls that may allow cold air to enter your pipes. Fill any gaps before they become a bigger problem.

When you’re away from the property, keep the heating on a low setting (above 4°C) in order to maintain a consistent temperature around the pipes. Better yet, minimize the problem by insulating your pipes. By insulating (or lagging) your pipes, you can reduce heat loss and prevent them from freezing and bursting.

4. Clean and maintain your chimney

As winter weather can damage your chimney, getting your chimney swept in the pre-winter months is a great idea. 

5. Call a tree surgeon

Before the first snowfall, make an appointment with a tree surgeon. When trees have lost their leaves, any structural problems become much easier to spot, making work such as tree reduction and pruning much easier.

Contact Us for Your HVAC Maintenance Needs!

24 Seven HVAC has been serving the HVAC needs of homes in Syracuse, NY and its surrounding areas for over 35 years. We provide ductless heating and cooling services, home energy solutions, HVAC maintenance, and so much more.

Let us help you with your HVAC and home energy needs. Call us today at 315-399-9962.