Fall has arrived and it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. Heating your home and dealing with snow and ice are challenges you’ll deal with when the temperatures drop. Follow these tips to stay safe and comfortable all winter long.
1. Test the Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather
Thousands of people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and hundreds die. No matter your heat source, it is recommended that you install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and make sure they are working. If you already have these detectors, test them monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year.
2. Clear Driveways and Walkways
Remove ice and snow from your walkways and driveways during the winter season. Prepare for this task by investing in ice-melt, sturdy snow shovels, and a snowblower. As soon as the snow starts falling, start clearing high-traffic areas at your home.
Afterward, use rock salt or ice-melt on the walkways to keep ice from accumulating. Wear protective gear, like sturdy gloves and eye protection, when shoveling and snow-blowing to protect yourself from injuries.
3. Prepare for a Power Outage
During winter, power lines are sometimes affected by heavy snow and ice. So that your family is prepared for a power outage, purchase a generator, lanterns, flashlights, and extra batteries. It’s also helpful to have non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
4. Check Your Roof Before Cold Weather Arrives
Having your roof inspected is essential before winter. An inspector will check for damaged or missing shingles that may allow water into your home when the snow melts. Make sure all shingles and flashings are secure before winter storms hit.
Before winter arrives, clean the gutters. Clear pine needles, leaves, and other debris from your gutters to prevent ice and water buildup that can damage your roof.
5. Take Care of Tools and Machinery
To be well-prepared for winter, make sure that all of your seasonal tools are in easy-to-access places. Invest in a snow shovel that has an ergonomic handle to help you lift with your legs instead of your back. You should also change the oil and replace the spark plug on the snowblower before the first snowfall.
6. Prepare Your HVAC and Fireplace for Cold Weather
As winter approaches, clean the chimney, check for cracks in your fireplace masonry, and make repairs. Replace or clean the air filter in your furnace. Make sure your humidifier is working effectively to enjoy better air quality in your home.
7. Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
During the winter, frozen water can cause your pipes to burst. Protect pipes from freezing by draining the water from outdoor faucets and disconnecting garden hoses outside your home. Use pipe sleeves, foam, or heating cables to keep the pipes inside your home insulated throughout the season.
8. Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather by Disinfecting
Viruses and bacteria thrive during the cold season. It is common for people to become ill during this time because everyone is cooped up indoors. To fight germs in your home, open the windows to allow fresh air inside every day. Get everyone in your house into the habit of washing their hands often. Clean and disinfect surfaces several times each week.