When the real cold sets in, we want to make sure you are prepared. Keep your home warm and safe this winter by following our to-do list.
Seal your home
Make your home as airtight as possible to keep the warm air inside where it belongs. Give your home a quick run-through, checking for visible and hidden drafts. You can do this by holding a lit candle near the following areas:
- Vents and fans
- Plumbing areas
- Air conditioners
- Mail chutes
If the candle flickers, you’ve got a draft.
Seal up all holes and reinforce existing points of entry with weather stripping. You can also caulk windows and doors to make sure they’re truly sealed against the cold.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Flick the reverse switch on your ceiling fans to make the blades spin in a clockwise direction instead of counterclockwise. This way, the fans will produce an updraft, which will push the rising hot air down so it can keep the entire room warm.
This is especially crucial in rooms that have high ceilings or two stories high. You might find that putting your ceiling fans to work allows you to crank down the thermostat to trim your energy bill.
Take inventory of Your Emergency Supplies
Don’t get stuck facing empty store shelves days before the big storm hits. Be prepared! Stock up on water, canned food, batteries, flashlights, and storm lanterns. You may also want to invest in an external charger for when the lights go out.
Check Your Heating System
Crank up the heat before the cold blows in to check if everything is in working order. After turning on your heating system, walk through your home to check if every heating vent is blowing warm air. If anything needs repairs, take care of it while it’s still warm outside.
Clean Your Gutters
If your gutters are clogged with sodden leaves, they can freeze up and block the drainage, allowing melting ice and snow to slowly seep into your roof causing damage. You can do this on your own or hire a professional roofer to get the job done.
Invest in a Roof Rake
Raking isn’t strictly for autumn leaves! If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow each winter, your roof can be sitting under several feet of snow for a few weeks at a time. All of that snow can get heavy, causing your roof to collapse.
Investing in a roof rake will help you clear the snow off your roof when it really starts piling up. You don’t want your roof falling in during the coldest time of the year.
Prune Your Trees
Take a walk around your home’s exterior and inspect all trees and bushes near its façade. Look for low-hanging or loose branches that are close to your house. If you find any, prune them now so they don’t end up cracking from heavy snow or wind and causing damage to your home.
Protect Your Pipes From Freezing
One burst pipe can cost more than $5,000 in water damage, so be sure to prevent this by taking some simple steps. Prevent burst pipes with these simple steps:
- Keep your heat on—even when you’re not home. You don’t need to turn the thermostat all the way up when you’re out, but keep it on a moderately warm temperature so your pipes don’t freeze and burst.
- Allow your faucets to drip during severe cold snaps so that the water flows through your cold pipes. Allowing the water to stay stagnant puts it at greater risk of freezing.
- Wrap any exposed piping to prevent freezing. You can find foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves for pipes and outdoor hose bibs at most hardware stores.