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Winter is Coming, Is Your Home Ready?
Dated: October 4 2019
Autumn is already ending and we know that winter is just around the corner. The freezing winds, the snow falling, and the temperature drop will surely frostbite your body and home if you welcome it unprepared. Autumn will be the ideal time for you to prepare your home and if you haven’t started yet, better plan it now. Here are ten ways to prepare your home for the coming winter:
1. Check Your Insulation
- Normally we can do a touch test to check if our home insulation is okay. The walls and floor of the house must feel warm and dry. If it will feel damp or cold, then there is not enough insulation. Check for possible leaks and repair them to keep the heat inside your property.
2. Furnace Check-up
- For checking on the furnace, have it serviced by a technician who knows how to check for wear and tear of your furnace. He/She will also clean the vents if deemed necessary. If your furnace system runs on oil, have it filled so that you can make sure that you won’t run out of oil during the winter.
3. Replace Your Filters
- This is a bit necessary to be accomplished during every month of winter. Ensuring a renewed set of filters for the furnace monthly will improve the airflow and the overall efficiency of the furnace.
4. Check Your Windows
- During the past seasons, your windows could have been damaged in the areas you didn’t check intricately. After the effects of the outside environment such as the heat, the strong winds from typhoons, and other more, it could be possible that your windows will have damages too. And these damages often lead to unwanted leaks often found on the hinges and slides of the windows. Also, check the sides and joints of the windows to make sure you did not miss any spot.
5. Ceiling Fan Adjustment
- Not everyone accomplishes this one, but did you know that if you reversed your ceiling fans to run clockwise during the winter, it will make the air circulate downward. This simple adjustment will reduce the house’s heating cost by around 10%. Others might say that it will just be a 10% reduction but even if your house is big or small, 10% is 10% and if it can lessen your expenses then it would definitely be a good thing.
6. Prepare Your Heater Tank
- Make sure that during the winter, you have to cover your heater tank with an insulation blanket. Covering it will help it run more efficiently.
7. Check Your Roof
- This task should be done with the aid of a professional. Do not risk your safety by doing it alone. Let a professional replace the missing shingles or other damages that need to be repaired. You should also check the chimney and repair leaks if you can find some. You should also inspect the foundation of the roof and check for any place that small animals could go in. Every leak left unrepaired will later on leak the heat from the inside of your house.
8. Clean the Gutters
- Almost everyone forgets to clean the gutters. Overloaded gutters with uncleaned water will later form blocks of ice during the winter. This ice eventually blocks your gutters and as it gets too heavy, it could fall off. Make sure to clean the gutters properly. If water freezes in the gutters, it will create ice that can push against the roof and walls of your home which increases the chance of rot. Take note that cleaning the gutters must be done at least once a year, and more often if your home is surrounded by trees.
9. Prepare Your Pipes
- We all know that at lower temperatures, water freezes. That is why you have to keep in mind that you must prevent your pipes from freezing. Did you know that water damage from frozen pipes is the costliest of claims from insurance companies that average around $8,000? So, make sure to drain those exterior water outlets and disconnect hoses. Store these hoses inside so that they won’t be exposed to the outside elements. You should cover your exposed pipes with pre-slit insulation foam that can be easily purchased from any hardware store. Remember that if your piping gets clogged, your whole winter will be filled with unwanted disasters due to a cut off the supply of water.
10. Check on the Fireplace
- The place inside that you can get cozy and feel the heat. You have to make sure that the fireplace is safe and in working order. With proper maintenance, you won’t need to check on its efficiency. But if you are not sure, you could have it inspected, serviced, and cleaned by a professional. The service will depend on the type of wood you burn and on how often you use your fireplace. Just like checking on your roofs, have the inside of the chimney inspected for possible entries of small animals. Make sure that the flue damper can be opened or closed. Have the open mortar joints repaired if needed and ensure that the fire bricks are in good shape.
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