Keep Winter Merry: Utilize These Home Winterization Tips
November 10, 2017
Winter is a wondrous delight. With the change of temperature comes gift giving, Christmas decorations, and families sharing treasured memories. On the other side of New Year’s are crackling fires, comfy blankets, and cups of cocoa to console us until the first hints of spring signal the return of warmer weather. But winter’s joys can turn to woes if your home is unprepared for what the season can unleash. Here are some fall maintenance tips for keeping your loved ones, and your living quarters, safe throughout the chilly months ahead.
Climate controls comfort in the modern world. Your HVAC system works year round to chase away summer’s heat and winter’s cold. But you must take care of it, if you expect it to take care of you. Here’s what you should do to keep your furnace working its best:
- Change filters. The air intake is your system’s “lungs.” The filter keeps out the contaminants that can damage the unit’s inner workings. Replacing filters at the turn of each season is crucial to your furnace’s long-term health, according to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). The small amount of money and effort you’ll expend will come back to you in terms of greater comfort and lower utility bills.
- Give the indoor and outdoor units a close look-see and note any corrosion, loose wires, or other signs of trouble. Start the system and listen for odd noises such as squealing or clunking. Call a professional if you suspect problems.
Keeping the Water Running
Protect your plumbing from the three causes of frozen pipes. According to State Farm, these are:
- Rapid temperature decline,
- Thermostats set too low.
- Inadequate insulation.
To prevent these issues, keep thermostat settings at adequate levels to prevent freezing temperatures in your basement or crawl space. Add or replace pipe insulation as needed and keep a trickle of water running on especially cold nights.
Heat tape is a great way to add an extra level of protection, especially when it comes to pipes near exterior walls that are far away from heat sources. Follow product directions and have a pro do the job if you’re unsure of your skills.
Preventing Illness and Accidents
Sometimes threats to your safety start closer to home than you might think. Preventing misfortune means ensuring that critical measures work as needed throughout the coming winter. Here are some tips for keeping them at their best:
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries with fresh cells. Most of these products have test modes to ensure proper operation. Check your owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website for directions.
- Check your walkways for cracks that could become trip hazards. Use polyurethane compound or epoxy to correct these problems.
- Take a walk around your home’s perimeter and look for low spots where rain or melting snow could pool against the foundation. This problem can cause flooded basements, mold growth, or other issues. While you’re at it, give the roof a close look and call a pro if you see missing shingles or other warning signs. Clean your gutters while you’re at it.
- Do you plan to display holiday lights? If so, then check your exterior outlets for proper functioning. Use only outdoor-grade power cords and other suitable equipment. Follow local rules and know your state of health before attempting strenuous chores.
The tips in this post will help you to enjoy winter’s pleasures while avoiding its pitfalls. So take the time to follow them. After that, you can relax and get ready for the good times to come, knowing you’ve earned some peace of mind.
Content provided by guest blogger Paul Denikin who is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects to benefit people with special needs children. He is the owner of DadKnowsDIY.com, which shows off helpful DIY projects.