Preparing for winter means more than pulling coats out of storage and putting snow tires on the car. As temperatures fall, many people spend more time at home, which means that it’s important to get things ready for colder weather. Below are several tips to help prepare the home for winter.
Protecting Against Drafts
Drafts from poorly sealed old windows and doors can quickly decrease a home’s indoor temperature regardless of the setting on the thermostat. If possible, have an expert come out to do an energy assessment that finds major problem areas. Drafts can be sealed with foam filler, draft blockers, window wrappings, and other tools.
When pipes are well wrapped, they’re not only protected from freezing and other damage, the warm water within is protected as well. As pipes are wrapped, less heat is lost between the water heater and the output source, and utility costs are reduced.
Inspecting and Preparing the Chimney
If a home has a wood-burning stove, pellet stove, or fireplace, it’s important to have the chimney cleaned and inspected at least once per year. Blocked vent pipes aren’t just a fire hazard, they’re a breathing hazard as well. Get the chimney inspected before lighting the first fire of winter.
Change the Batteries in All Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide issues and house fires are more common in winter than at any other time of the year due to the increased use of furnaces and heaters. Autumn is the right time to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they work well and the batteries are fresh.
Keep Rodents and Insects Out
Although insects and animals are less active during the winter, many homeowners find a few extra visitors. Bugs and rodents like a warm home as much as the family does, but they can quickly become a problem. Before winter comes, be sure to tackle minor infestations to prevent them from becoming a major issue.
Another thing to think about is whether the home will be occupied. If it’s a rental or vacation property, owners should take additional steps such as draining the water heater, turning off the water supply, and prepping appliances. These winter preparation tips for your home can help anyone get ready for the colder months.