Though winter is technically still several months away, that doesn’t mean you should wait until the first frost to get your home ready for winter and all the weather that comes with it. In fact, now is the perfect time to prep your home for whatever Mother Nature may bring this upcoming year. Below are four things you should do now to get your home for the cold winter weather.

Inspect Your Roof

The first step to winterizing your home is grabbing your ladder and making your way up to your roof. This has been said many times before, but your roof needs routine inspection and care. While your roof is built to withstand harsh weather, that does not mean it doesn't need a little TLC.

Over time, it’s not uncommon to see minor roof damage such as lifting or missing shingles, sagging gutters or rust and peeling sealant. Winter can make all of these minor blemishes a lot worse and can use them to do damage inside your home, so taking care of them ahead of time can save you a lot of money and aggravation.

Get Your HVAC Ready

Your HVAC unit is what is going to get you through winter, especially if you live in an area where it's below freezing for months at a time. However, like the roof, your HVAC also needs regular maintenance to operate.

As summer moves into fall, it’s time to shut down your air conditioning and get ready to turn on the heating. Before you completely shut down your AC though, it’s a good idea to get your unit looked at. If there are any issues, schedule air conditioning repair before the season ends. Problems that are ignored will likely only get worse over the cold winter months, and you could find that next year, your AC is inoperable when you need it. If you have been experiencing issues with your AC this summer, like strange noises or a faulty thermostat, you should schedule air conditioning repair before it gets cold out.

Since many components of your HVAC overlap season to season, issues that you think only affect cooling your home can also affect how well your HVAC heats your home as well. For instance, your thermostat may not register the right temperature, so even if you set it to one temperature, it may actually read another. This can lead to improper cycling of your HVAC, which can inflate your electric bill and cause excessive wear and tear on your system too.

Cover Any Furniture You Have Outside

Your house itself isn’t all that needs to be winterized. It’s surprising to see how many people overestimate the integrity of their outdoor furniture. While some furniture fares better than others, most outdoor furniture is susceptible to seasonal damage.

The snow that gathers on your furniture will eventually melt and may cause mold to form. This is something that commonly occurs with wood furniture. To prevent it, cover your outdoor furniture with a cold-proof tarp or store it inside your garage or shed.

Maintain Your Gutters

With all the snow and rain that winter brings, there may also be a large influx of water running off your roof. Your gutters are what keeps the water from damaging your property. Gutters that are clogged with debris can prevent proper water runoff. Eventually, your gutters may start to sag as well.

The combined weight of the accumulated water and debris cause your gutters to sag until they eventually collapse, leaving pools of water that can seep into your foundation and cause root rot too. This can be easily prevented by clearing out the gutters to keep the water away from your home and prep for winter months ahead.

Winterizing your home isn’t as complicated as it may seem. In truth, you won’t have to do much other than perform a simple inspection and take note of any repairs needed. Take stock of what needs repaired or replaced and make sure to scratch it off your to-do list before the cold winter weather sets in.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.