11 easy ways to make your home winter ready:
1. Come up with a strategy for saving:
Sometimes, getting the many different tasks organized in your home for keeping it winter ready can be a tedious and annoying task. So, what you can do in this situation is come up with a strategy for the same.
To break the frustration, divide the tasks that can be completed with two or three weekends. First, you can check the windows and the drafts, then the pipelines and so on and so forth. You can divide the tasks among the members of the house and then each member inspects each room of the home.
2. Have the furnace checked:
At the beginning of the winter season hire a professional who can look at the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor to look at your existing heating and cooling systems. This will help to ensure that your heating systems are operating in a safe and secure manner.
In case you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a programmable one to help you save your heating costs and thus saving energy.
3. Prep the Plumbing:
If you have any outdoor faucets it is better that you drain it out and check for any kind of leakage which might be there. Roll up the garden hoses and keep them inside. Identify any problem pipes that might be there and which may be prone to freezing during the cold season. In that case, you may seal it up with a heat tape to keep it warm during the harsh weather.
a. Turn off the faucets:
If there is any undrained water it can freeze during the winter which may cause the pipes to burst. In this case, disconnect your garden house and drain the remaining water.
b. Pad exposed pipes in unheated areas:
If you wish to prevent damage from a frozen pipe you can adopt this easy and inexpensive method. Sometimes, even the smallest of the pipes can cause the maximum amount of damage. So effectively cover the pipes to save yourself from any kind of unnecessary damage.
You can also try keeping the cabinet doors open to allow the warm air to circulate in places like below the sink. Lastly, add extra insulation to any pipe which may pose a safety hazard in the future.
4. Winterize the Windows and Doors:
Windows can take a beating during the blustery months, so you should make sure they’re in tip-top shape before winter. Any kind of gaps around your windows and doors can make it tough to keep your home warm during the winters. If you have older windows and doors you may consider upgrading them to boost the energy saving in your home.
Here are some steps that you can adapt to winterize the windows and the doors:
- Firstly, clean all the windows and doors by soaping and scrubbing so that you can enjoy that crystal clear view during the winters.
- Check all the frames for any gaps that may exist and then adopt the appropriate measures to seal in those gaps.
- Consider being more energy efficient. Many times, an old window can have a harmful effect on your energy bills as compared to a window left open.
- Prevent the door locks from freezing by spraying a little powdered-graphite lubricant into each door lock (where the key goes), then turn the key in the lock. The powder (sold at hardware stores) lubricates the pins inside the lock to prevent sticking. Do this once a season.
5. Be ready for an emergency:
Take a moment and prepare your families for any kind of an emergency that may occur during the cold winter months such as an energy blackout, snowstorm, etc.
You can keep the following items in handy to be prepared:
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable food items
- Phone numbers for emergencies
- Battery backup to protect your computer and other important electronic equipment
- First-aid kit
- A working full charged fire extinguisher
- An alternative heat source such as a generator
Also get your car ready too. Whether you live in a cold-weather climate or just plan to visit one, you will want to keep these essentials in your car for winter-weather emergencies.
6. Decorate safely:
Winter is the season to be festive and get ready for holidays. But remember to stay safe during this time of the year while decorating. Inspect the wires of your light display before switching them on—they may be frayed and present an electrical fire hazard. If you are planning to have a Christmas tree check the lights for any kind of damage and find out a safe way of disposing of the tree once the holiday season comes to an end.
7. Clean the fireplace:
If you use a wood for burning in the fireplace, make sure that you get the place professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you rarely use the fireplace then getting it inspected once in three years will be more than sufficient.
Before you use the fireplace to make sure that you clean and sweep the chimneys and vents and keep it clean before you start to use it. This will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from building up and finding its way into your home.
8. Seal the leaks:
Keep drafts to a minimum this winter. If you have them, install storm windows and doors - and don't overlook the basement. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. These steps will block any potential entry points for cold air. That's an idea you can warm up to.
9. Prevent ice dams:
Ice dams are something which may form when the heat escapes from the roof and can melt the snow which is already settled there. Those pretty icicles can signal an ugly ice dam underneath. The problem with an ice dam is that snow that later melts can't properly drain, so it has to go somewhere and that might be through a leak in your roof, causing water damage in your home.
10. Trim any bushes, trees or houseplants:
If you have any overgrown trees or bushes make sure that you trim it up and keep it away from any electrical house wires. This will help to avoid any power problems and also reduce any kind of damage to the property.
11. Check for any wall and ceiling leaks:
Any kind of weather change may cause damage to the home in case of any leaks or other damage. Part of preparing for winter involves locating leaks around your house and sealing them up to ensure you are able to maintain ideal temperatures.
Thus, following a proper maintenance schedule throughout the year will benefit you during the entire year. So, take charge now before it gets too late and makes your home winter ready with these easy and effective steps.