Prepare Your Home for Winter – be safe and save money!
The best way to prevent problems and keep costs low is to be prepared! Just a few pro-active preparations can save you time, problems and tons of money this winter!
Safety and Money Saving Tips:
1. Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. Pipes can freeze and burst. When they thaw, water will run where the pipe has broken. To protect your home and your valuables, it’s always important to know how to shut off your water anytime a leak in your plumbing may occur.
2. Make sure any exposed pipes are properly insulated or covered. If you have a pipe that freezes regularly, it’s probably not insulated inside the wall or under the flooring of your home. Have the plumber check and insulate pipes to stop water coming into your home from freezing.
3. Close crawl space vents. This keeps the air under your house warmer. Air under the house seeps up through the flooring making your home harder to heat and increasing your heating bills.
4. Leave the heat on, even when you’re away from home, set to at least 55 degrees. When the house gets too cold, pipes can burst and wood can crack. Extreme temperatures damage homes and valuables.
5. Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly. Filters are very inexpensive and important to keep clean. Clean filters help to keep your home dust free and make the furnace function more efficiently. Dirty filters lead to higher heating bills.
6. Install fresh batteries in all smoke alarms. More fires happen in cold months because of heating methods. Be sure your smoke alarms function properly for the safety of you and your family.
7. Clean gutters. Clogged gutters don’t function properly. It’s important that they do their job and carry moisture away from your house. Moisture can lead to mold and illness as well as damage to the structure of your home.
8. Drain garden hoses and turn off outdoor water faucets. Freezing water in hoses will cause them to crack or burst meaning you’ll have to buy new ones in the spring. Drain and store them during cold months. The same with water faucets – if you leave water in them, they can crack or burst in cold weather.
9. Add antifreeze to the base of portable basketball goals filled with water – so they don’t break!
10. Be sure no flammable materials are stored close to your furnace (for obvious reasons).
11. Seal areas around dryer vents, cable outlets, attic openings, mail chutes, etc. Block out cold air from any openings to the outside of your home. This will help reduce your heating bills.
What can you add to the list?