As the hot summer days turn shorter and colder in the fall, it’s a sign for all to winterize your home in preparation for what’s usually a snowy winter. Those relocating to Bend may not be sure about everything to should to get ready for cold temperatures: Our tips will make your planning no problem at all. Open your calendar and start making arrangements for these important steps! Contact us for help with your move to Bend.

1. Blow Out Your Sprinklers

You don’t want any water freezing inside the sprinkler system, so it’s important to get it “blown out” before freezing temperatures arrive. Bend landscaping companies will be happy to schedule this for you (schedule early as they can get busy) and will also often pack your sprinkler box with insulation for extra protection. The city will also usually require an annual backflow test, and this is a good time to get that testing done, so try to schedule both at once.

2. Get a Fireplace Inspection

If there is a fireplace in your home that hasn’t been inspected in a few years, arrange for a fireplace inspection and maintenance visit. These visits can be very helpful: They can clean scorch marks off of fireplace glass, clean out dust from your fan system so that it sounds much quieter, and generally make sure that there is nothing wrong with the system. For wood fireplaces, practice blocking the chimney off with the damper when the fireplace isn’t in use.

3. Avoid Freezing Pipes

In particularly cold weather – and especially overnight – pipes with water left inside can freeze. When this water expands, it can crack pipes and create serious flooding issues. Insulating pipes can help avoid this problem! In a pinch, you can also set cold water faucets to drip overnight or while you are away, as the running water will keep pipes from freezing up entirely. You can also find cheap covers to put on your external faucets to keep them protected from freezing up.

4. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters can get filled with dirt, needles, and leaves over the course of the year. When snow comes, this can create blockages that make it easy for damaging ice dams to form. Before this happens, clean out your gutter thoroughly!

5. Replace Home Heating Filters

HVAC systems usually have a central fan system with a filter inside to help catch debris. You should replace these filters between major seasonal shifts before they get too clogged. Note the size of your filter, and you can find a replacement in any nearby department store. This is also the time to switch your thermostat settings if you need to.

6. Get Rid of Any Drafts

Homes with older weatherstripping (the felt and rubber edges around doors and windows) may need weatherstripping replacements to avoid any accidental drafts. Check all openings around your house and make sure this insulation is in good shape. On the exterior of your house, block off foundation vents with foam wedges to help keep crawlspaces and basements from leaking heat (these foam sections may come with the house, or you can buy them separately).

7. Clean and Adjust Ceiling Fans

Wipe any accumulated dust off your ceiling fan and look for a switch to change direction. Ceiling fans should always turn clockwise in winter, which can push rising warm air down on people in the room.

8. Buy a Snow Shovel

You’ll be glad that you did!