The weather outside might be frightful, but what can be even worse is the damage that can occur if your home is not ready for the cold. Proper maintenance for cold winter temperatures can save you the trouble of possible damages and repairs. Taking the time to follow a few guidelines can help to keep your home safe and running smoothly during the winter season.
Pipes and Plumbing
- Be careful disposing of grease and oil from cooking. Cold temperatures can cause it to congeal. Try collecting it in containers instead of using the sink.
- Use low-demand times, like overnight, to run dishwashers and washing machines.
- Cold temperatures mean extra stress on your water heater. Space out shower and bathroom use. If necessary, bump up the water temperature but, do not exceed 125 degrees.
Inside the Home
- Seal and caulk windows and doors to avoid drafts.
- Repair and replace weather stripping around doors and windows.
Outside the Home
- Clean out gutters and downspouts to avoid ice formation and blockages.
- Drain birdbaths, fountains, etc.
- Seal any places that may allow air to leak from your home. This may include places around the attic, chimney, light fixtures, or vent pipes.
- Keep outside faucets covered and insulated and be sure garden hoses are detached and drained.
- Having inspections done yearly can keep you safe and warm during the season. Your furnace should be inspected for cracks, a new air filter should be installed, and the thermostat should be checked to make sure it is running properly. Fireplaces and chimneys should also be inspected and cleaned every year to avoid possible risks.
Home Safety and Storm Preparation
- Have non-perishable food and water stocked.
- Fill up your car with gas.
- Be ready with flashlights, batteries, a radio, and a manual can opener.
- Have a working fire extinguisher for emergencies.
- Have an alternative form of heat like a generator, fireplace, or stove but, be cautious of carbon monoxide poisoning while in use. Have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms ready with fresh batteries.
- Be sure prescriptions are filled in advance.
One thing is for sure, when cold weather hits your home, you want to be prepared. Being ready can keep you and your home safe and avoid possible damages too.
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