Winter is almost upon us. As much fun as the season can bring – the holidays, presents, and hot chocolate – it also has its downsides. Because the weather tends to be harsh, a lot of our energy goes into making sure that we’re warm. But we also need to make sure our homes are safe and that they’re in good shape for the cold season. Here’s a list of preparations to make for a safe and cozy winter.
Check the plumbing
Turn off outdoor water sources. If you don’t, the trapped water in the pipes may freeze over and clog the pipes, possibly damaging them come springtime. That kind of problem will need to be seen by a plumbing expert.
Ready your deicing equipment
If you live in an area that’s prone to snow and snowstorms, now would be a good time to see that your deicing equipment is sufficient. Make sure you have rakes, ice blowers, and check on your generator too. Stock up on antifreeze if you need to but make sure to keep them stored in cabinets that are out of the reach of children and pets.
Check your HVAC systems
Have the filters on your HVAC systems checked. The dirt that clogs the filters over time can make it harder for your systems to get your home to your ideal temperature. As a result, you spend more money on your heating and cooling.
You can also have a smart thermostat installed. This can help boost your home’s value. You can program it to adjust to your desired temperature depending on the time of day. It can also help you save on your electrical bills. Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely by way of an application that can be installed on smartphones and tablets. You can program them to go to sleep when you’re not home. When you’re on your way home, you can revive it to your desired temperature a few minutes before you arrive.
Do your routine pest control
Contrary to popular belief, pests are still a possibility in the winter. The cold season may even prompt them to seek warmth inside your home. Consider calling pest control to prepare for the winter. Also, make sure to seal any openings that pests can use as an entrance to your home.
Check your roofing and gutters
Clean your gutters and get your roof inspected for vulnerabilities before the winter. If you’re looking for a better way to get the snow off your roof, consider getting a metal roof. It’s excellent at reflecting heat, so shrugging off ice and snow will become a lot easier. This ability to reflect heat instead of absorbing it can also help you cut down on cooling costs in the summer. It’s also durable and long-lasting. However, metal roofs are more expensive. They’ll only be worth it if you plan on living in your home long enough that you’ll reap the rewards of such an investment.
Maintain the fireplace
If you’re thinking of using your fireplace this season, then a good cleaning is in order. Cover the area around it with newspaper to avoid soot stains and wear gear such as a mask and goggles to protect yourself.
Winterize your outdoors
If your area gets cold enough to halt grass growth in the winter, make sure to prepare your lawn properly. Mow it one last time before winter and fertilize it to keep alive through springtime.
If you have a swimming pool, test its pH levels. Give it a dose of chlorine and let it sit for a few days before you cover it for the season. Cover or stow away your outdoor furniture into a shed or garage.
Practice fire safety
Because we’re so focused on keeping ourselves warm, it might be easy to forget that the measures we’re taking may lead to some fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), homes are more in danger of house fires in the winter than in any other season.
When hanging up your Christmas lights, be sure that doors and windows don’t close on the wires. This could destroy the wires and make them more likely to start a house fire. Don’t keep your holiday lights turned on for the entire night. Keep Christmas lights and candles away from heat sources.
Test your smoke alarms once every month to test their batteries. Replace the alarm if it is ten years past its manufacturing date.
Winter brings harsh weather with it, so make sure to prepare your home for the season. Because the winter is prone to house fires, make sure that you practice fire safety measures too. Preparing your home properly for the winter and all it will bring will ensure that you and your family will be safe and warm.