You may likely forget to make your home safer during the winter on the assumption that you'll be indoors most of the time. Yet, being indoors most of the season should be reason enough for you to secure your home. It's time to assess your heating and insulation systems, because you'll be using them now more than any other time of the year.
Here are 6 tips to help you secure your home for the winter.
1. Check your carbon monoxide detectors
During winter storms, there is a higher risk of carbon monoxide leaks. You need to ensure your carbon monoxide detector is operating properly. You should always have spare batteries for the detector in case the current ones fail. You can also check if the smoke alarm is operating as it should.
2. Assess the health of your generator
If you have a generator, make sure that it is still functioning properly. Of course, not every year there is a blowout storm that causes power outages, so there's never a guarantee that you'll need your generator. But extreme weather has become more uncommon in areas where it is not predicted - just look at what Texas went through last year. Make sure you have enough fuel for your generator, inspect its battery, and check its coolant levels.
3. Proper maintenance of your appliance
If you have a washing machine, fridge or other home appliances that are kept in unheated areas of your house (like the garage), you'll need to take precautions to protect them. You can check the manufacturer's instructions for effective maintenance of the appliances at home.
4. Warm up your pipes
Pipes are likely to get damaged while exposed to cold due to freezing of the water. To prevent the pipes in your home from bursting, you should consider warming them. You can warm the pipes by wrapping them with hot towels, blowing hot air against the pipes using a hair dryer, using electrical heating or positioning a source of heat, such as a portable space heater or heat lamp, next to the pipe.
5. Inspect your roof and gutters
You need to inspect your roof for damage before the winter falls. Be sure your roof isn't leaking so it's not susceptible to any melting snow or storms. You can also check the chimney to make sure it is in good condition and well-sealed. While clearing the roof, ensure you check the gutters and clean any dirt that could prevent water from flowing out.
6. Insulate your house
During the cold season, most families tend to remain indoors. Your windows and doors should be insulated to avoid losing heat to the outside. You can also ensure that the floors are warm by installing carpets. Also, ensure there's proper ventilation for your house. Poor air quality can lead to infections of your family members.
Securing your home for the winter may require substantial investments because you may need to overhaul existing systems entirely. You may need to purchase a new generator, or get a repair technician to service your faulty heating and cooling system. Either way, these fixes for winter troubles can be hard on your wallet. Practice good home maintenance year round so that when the change of season hits, you will be as prepared as you can be.