Simple Safety Tips for Winterizing a Home
The bitterly cold days of January are upon us and it’s important to take steps now to make sure your home is ready for the long stretch of winter weather ahead. Many homeowners overlook winterizing their home as the season changes, and this can leave them left out in the cold….both literally and metaphorically. Winterizing is important economically as it can save a homeowner on energy bills. It’s essential to keep every aspect of your home, from appliances to the rooftop, in mind when planning to winterize.
Ice and Snow Safety
Be sure to trim back any tree branches that hang over your home. During winter, ice and snow can build up on the tree limbs and weigh them down, resulting in fallen tree branches and damages to a home. Also, inspect your roof for any weak spots or missing shingles and have them repaired as a preemptive measure.
Stock up on rock salt to prevent ice from forming over walkways and driveways to avoid injuries walking to and from the house.
During the winter, pavement becomes more susceptible to cracks and damages during the cold weather. Check for any cracks or crevices that are larger than an eighth of an inch wide and have them filled.
Heating and Energy Efficiency
Homeowners need to ensure that their HVAC ductwork is free of lint and debris and sealed for air leaks. The brunt of home energy costs in the winter months come from heating your home with clogged ducts and/or unsealed leaks. Properly cleared and sealed HVAC ductwork allows for an efficiently heated home. Also, the ability to install a thermostat that can be controlled remotely can help manage temperatures (and utility bills).
Inspect windows and doors for cracks and separations. Apply caulking, weather stripping and under-door draft blockers where needed to keep warm air in and cold air out.
If the air in your home is feeling uneven and stuffy, set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise. Doing this will create an updraft and pull warm air down into the rest of the room, which can help save money on heating costs.
Home and Appliance Preservation
Many homeowners don’t think about winterizing appliances, especially in the garage, but it’s important to so. Make sure to winterize mowers and weed-eaters by emptying any gas in the fuel tank or adding fuel stabilizer. It’s especially important to add fuel stabilizer to the snow blower in case of emergency. Store all outdoor appliances in a dry place and secure place to make sure they are both protected from theft and ready for use.
Make sure to clear your gutters before the first snowfall in order to prevent flooding when the snow melts.
Many homeowners forget to check and upkeep smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The detectors have finite lives. The average life expectancy for a smoke detector is about 10 years, carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5-7 years. If there is no suggested replacement date on your smoke or carbon monoxide detector, or if you can’t remember when you bought it, consider some of the monitored solutions Supreme Security Systems offers.
Be sure to test the batteries on your smoke and CO detectors every six months to make sure they are in working order.
Finally, if you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected before you light your first fire of the season.
These simple steps to winterizing a home can be the difference between a comfortable winter and a disaster. Taking the time to make sure a home is prepared for the winter not only increases the security of a property, but it saves the homeowner money in the long run. With the home automation technology available today from companies like Supreme Security Systems, it’s possible for homeowners to alter the environmental conditions of a home for afar, saving time and money.