Is your home winter-ready? Sufficiently preparing for the colder months not only ensures more comfortable quarters but also provides a safe and smooth passage into spring. Follow these tips to make sure your home is prepared.
- Clean out leaves/gutters.
Gutters that are full of leaves and other debris can allow water to seep into your home, foundation, and other places where you don’t want it. Cleaning the gutters out will create a clear passage for melting snow.
- Run fans in reverse.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that your fans have to be put on break for months. Change them to go in a clockwise direction to push warm air down.
- Inspect your furnace, plumbing and pipes, roof, and doors and windows.
- Having your furnace checked to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently saves money on energy costs and protects against maintenance hassles like blockage or leakage.
- Prevent against frozen and burst pipes by ensuring that any pipes that are not in a heated environment are sufficiently padded.
- Your roof needs to be inspected to reduce any issues that may arise due to wind, snow, hail, or ice. Inspecting it will also reduce the risk of any water damage that may occur.
- As secure as you may think your windows and doors are, precious heat may still be escaping if they’re not properly sealed. Inspect them and, if necessary, replace seals, weather stripping, and door sweeps to help reduce energy costs.
- Prepare for emergencies.
Winter storms can knock power out for hours or possibly even days; make sure that you’re ready for those occasions by preparing an emergency kit. Some items to include are bottled water, blankets, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food.
Bonus tip: Do a winter clean-out. As winter sets in, remember that there are those who aren’t nearly as prepared as you, not just in terms of shelter, but in food and clothing. November is a great time to go through old winter clothes and coats and donate those that your family has outgrown to local charities. Canned goods and nonperishables are also welcome, especially around the holidays.