December 3, 2020
Prepare your home for winter
It's hard to believe that it is already December...and with that, winter is right around the corner. Whether you are looking forward to the cold months or not, the time is now to start preparing your home for winter. Check out these helpful tips to make sure that you and your home are ready for the chill!
1. Get your furnace or heat system inspected and turned up
If you haven't already, schedule a maintenance service call with a technician to take a look at your furnace/heat system. Do so now to avoid any surprises down the line as the weather gets much colder. You'll want to make sure that the system is clean and in good repair and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans
When you turn your heat on, you should also reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Accoring to Energy Star, the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings -- and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
3. Reapply caulk around windows and doors
If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use as it won’t shrink and it is strong to the elements. Add weatherstripping if needed around doors (you should not be able to see any daylight from inside your home!).
4. Turn off and drain exterior faucets
Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water remaining in faucets. Check to see if you have frost-proof faucets. If not, turn the shut-off valve inside your home.
5. Stock up on winter essentials
Don’t wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, like salt, snow shovels, and ice melt. It's not a bad idea to grab a couple gallons of water in case you lose power, either! And make sure that you have a good stock of household and kitchen essentials/necessities while you are stocking up to minimize trips to the grocery store during the pandemic and so you will be all set in case of a snow or storm emergency.