6 Tips for New (and Old) residents of the Northwest to prepare their home for winter

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6 Tips for New (and Old) residents of the Northwest to prepare their home for winter.

When Jan and I moved to Idaho in 1985 from Arizona, neither of us had a clue what we needed to do to prepare for our first cold winter.That first winter was a true learning experience for both of us, even though Jan grew up in Twin Falls.I still remember lying in bed during the first thaw and hearing a water fall, which turned out to be our outside faucets which had burst, because we did not know that we needed to disconnect our hoses! Talk about a learning experience! Here are some tips that we have learned during our 32 years.

Check your Fireplace

You should have your fireplace inspected by a professional.Clean or repair any problems before you have your first fire. For example, and animal might have made a nest in the chimney without your knowing- which turns into a very bad surprise the first time you have a fire.Creosote buildup may have occurred through incomplete burning last winter.


Fall is a good time to plant trees and shrubs.They then have time to put down roots, same with reseeding your lawn.Trim back shrubs and trees, minimizing winter loss. It is also time to plant tulips and other bulbs, if you like garlic, this is the time to plant.Clean and spray silicone on your tools.Be sure to put a fuel stabilizer in your lawn mower and other gas-powered equipment.I always change the oil in my lawn mower, so it is ready to go in the spring.

Seal Doors and Windows

If you don’t have energy efficient doors and windows, cold air will find its way into your home.Before we could afford new windows in our home of 32 years, we used to seal our windows with window sealing kits. We also have door snakes that we place along the bottom of our doors to help keep the cold out.Pet doors need to be inspected and repaired or replaced if needed.(on my list for this year).Look around the outside, caulk both the inside and outside of any holes.

Clean those Gutters

This is exceptionally important task.Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters that can help prevent icicles and ice dams for forming later.Even if you have gutter guards you need to check them out.

Reverse those Ceiling Fans!

We all love ceiling fans in the summer, they can help in the winter as well!Reverse the direction of the blades so they move in a clockwise direction so that they push warm air from the ceiling to the floor. This is also a great time to clean those blades!

Furnace filters

Change the filters in the central heating system. This not only improves its efficiency and longevity, but can also save you money, especially if you have pets.

For the first 26 years of my life, I lived in a place where if it went below freezing it was a huge event.Living the good life in the Pacific Northwest requires preparation for winter, don’t be left out in the cold!