Like it or not, winter weather is coming. Most of us have already turned on the heat and pulled out those winter jackets. As we prepare ourselves for the colder weather, we need to remember to prepare our home for winter weather as well. Here are some great tips to prepare your home for a cold winter.
Take care of the gutters
It is important to clean the gutters; especially after trees have lost their leaves. Do not let gutters get clogged with soil and leaves. If gutters are overflowed with leaves, this can cause water to run down the home which could cause damage to the exterior.
Disconnect and drain all outside hoses. Roll up those garden hoses and store them in the garage.
Add or replace weather stripping
Weather strips block outside airflow that usually comes from doors and windows. Weather strips should be installed to form a tight seal when doors or windows are closed but does not inhibit their movement.
Check nearby trees for limbs that could damage your home
Trim tree branches that could get weighed down by snow or ice and fall onto the house.
Open cabinet doors
During extremely cold weather, it is good idea to keep cabinet doors open. This will allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those under sinks that are located in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Clean the fireplace and chimney
Make sure to have the fireplace inspected and cleaned before the first use during the cold season.
Keep the home warmer by shutting the flue when the fireplace is not being used.
Have sprinkler pipes blown out.
Sprinkler systems should not be overlooked when it comes to preparing a home for winter weather. Make sure to turn off the water, drain the pipes and blow them free of water. This will prevent trapped water from freezing, resulting in cracked water lines.
Adjust the thermostat wisely
Changing the thermostat drastically could cost a lot of money in the winter. To prevent this, keep the thermostat around 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Never turn off the heat, even if no one is home for several days. Completely turning off the heat could cause pipes to freeze or even explode.
Do not turn the thermostat way down during the night. This will make the unit work harder to warm up in the morning.
Do not crank the heat up in an attempt to warm the home faster. This will cause the system to overwork.
Adjust the curtains and blinds
Adjusting the curtains and blinds during cold weather can greatly impact the temperature of the home. Open blinds and curtains when the sun is shining, allowing that warm heat to come through windows. Once the sun starts to set, close the blinds and windows to help insulate the inside of the home and reduce heat lose. Locking windows will also create a tighter seal, keeping warm air in and cold air out.
Reverse ceiling fan direction
Make the ceiling fans useful during the winter! Warm air can be forced downward by lowering the fan speed and reversing the direction of the blades. The blades will need to move clockwise. The reverse switch is usually located on the fan base. After completing this task, the air should feel warmer.
Clean air filters
Keep the heater in great condition by replacing air filters. It is also not a bad idea to have the furnace and water heater checked and serviced.