I know we just entered fall territory, but winter weather is just around the corner and from what I have heard from different sources over the internet, we are supposed to have one of the worst winters that we have had in a while. Winter is not my favorite season, I just would like to have a white Christmas and New Year and get back to the fall and spring style weather, I also know that we need to prepare for the worst. Here are some tips that I found over the internet that can help you prepare your house for the coldest of winters.
The best thing to start with is your furnace as it is used the most during the winter time. Make sure you keep your furnace maintained to prevent your home from catching fire. Make sure you have a trustworthy HVAC professional inspect that your furnace is still in proper working condition and that your ducts are clean. Keep enough filters handy, at least enough to change it every month. If you still heat your home via radiators, bleed the valves, opening them slightly and when water appears, close them. I know I would love to have a fireplace in my home, the thought of enjoying some hot cocoa while curled up in a blanket next to a roaring fire sounds fantastic. If you are fortunate to have a fireplace in your home, make sure you have the chimney inspected each year, you can contact your local fire department and/or look up chimney cleaning in the telephone book. It would be best to make sure that your chimney’s screen or cap is still in proper shape, that way you will have less chance of some unwelcomed house guests. If you have a fireplace, woodstove, kerosene heater or any other source of warmth, make sure that you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the vicinity of the heat source. Make sure you test them monthly and change the batteries twice a year, or when necessary. That way if something goes wrong with the heat source, you can be alerted quickly.
Make sure that all of your waterlines that run along the exterior walls of your house are properly insulated, this will help prevent the pipes from freezing. If you have central air, then drain all of the pipes and turn off the water shut off valve if applicable. Check the exterior of the home for cracks or places that rodents can enter your home and close them. Check all of the weather stripping around the house, that way you keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Check all windows to fix any cracked window panes or seal any areas that cold air can get through.
Check your attic areas to make sure that you have proper insulation to prevent warm air from escaping through the roof, this can cause damage to the roof areas overtime as well as make your heating bills literally go through the roof. Check for any open areas that rodents can get in and sealed them off. Rodents can chew at the electric wires in the attic space, combining that with insulation, there is a huge chance of a fire occurring.
Make sure that you stock up on candles and matches in case there would happen to be a power outage. Keep a stock of water bottles, non-perishable foods, blankets, flashlights and a first-aid kit to keep you and your family warm and safe until the power can be turned back on.
If you have pets, make sure you bring them in for the winter. If you are unable to, make sure that they have shelter that is well insulated and makes sure they have access to unfrozen water. If the temperatures would get below 20 degrees, I would suggest making sure that you could bring them into the home, at least until the temperature rise up above the freezing level. Make sure you have a supply of food for the pets in case you would not be able to leave you home for an extended period of time.
It is important that you get your home ready for winter weather, to keep you and your loved ones safe and warm. You can find more information to prepare yourself for the winter at www.btc.cdc.gove and www.homebuying.about.com.
We wish you and yours a very wonderful and safe holiday season!!!!
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