Winter weather comes quickly, and you want to be prepared before it does. Though the winter brings exciting holidays, memories, events, and outdoor winter activities, it also can bring difficult conditions, especially if you haven’t prepared your home. So, get prepared now. Do the little chores around the house that will help avoid any winter—especially snow—damage and get the supplies you need to stay warm and comfortable throughout the winter season.
A Roof Inspection
A first step to preparing your home for the winter weather is to have your roof inspected. Roof inspection is important for keeping your home warm and structurally secure. Snowstorms can leave a great deal of snow and ice on your roof—and snow and ice are heavy. If your roof has weak spots, loose shingles, or other previous damage, the weight of the snow and ice could likely cause parts of your roof to break further. If it’s bad enough, the weight of the snow could even cause parts of your roof to collapse. When you have your roof inspected, the inspector will also check for gaps or small holes in your roof or shingles that could leak to heat escaping through the roof or to water leaking through the roof. So, to keep your house safe and warm, have a roof inspection before the cold winter hits.
Window and Door Weatherstripping
Another important step that will help prepare your house for winter is to weatherstrip your windows and doors. Weatherstripping consists of finding small gaps in the windows or doors that let air in and out of your house and then filling in those gaps with caulking or another substance. This process is important for multiple reasons. First, by weatherstripping your doors and windows, you’ll keep your house warmer—an important aspect for the winter. Next, weatherstripping your doors actually helps to keep your utility bills lower. When the warm air from inside your house seeps through cracks in windows and doors, your heater has to work harder to warm the house. Sealing up those cracks helps your heater work more efficiently which in turn lowers the price you pay to heat your house. So, before winter hits, don’t forget to weatherstrip your windows and doors.
An Insulation Upgrade
Another helpful tip to prepare for winter weather is to upgrade your insulation. Insulation is an important part of a house because it helps regulate the temperature in your home. Sometimes, however, the insulation has a low R-value, which means that the insulation doesn’t resist heat transfer very well. When this is the case, homeowners end up paying significantly higher utility bills than they would need to with better insulation. So, consider having a professional check the effectiveness of your insulation to see if you would benefit from an insulation upgrade. If you would benefit from it, you’ll not only pay a lower energy bill, but you’ll also have a warmer house to keep you safe from the frigid cold outdoors.
After you’ve upgraded the insulation in your home, you’ll want to think about how you’re getting your main source of heat during the winters. If it isn’t effective or efficient, consider getting better heating. There are many options for heating your home. A popular option in North America is using a furnace. A furnace works by pumping hot air through grated vents into the rooms in your home. Another option is to use an electric space heater. Electric space heaters sit right by you and pump the heat onto you directly—a very nice feeling when your fingers and toes are extra icy. However, space heaters are expensive, so weigh the pros and cons of choosing this option as a main source of heat in your house. Fireplaces are another source of heat. Though beautiful, this source of heat doesn’t always work as effectively as other sources. And it can be a lot of work to maintain a fireplace in your home. However, it’s a very cozy choice and rather inexpensive. So, if you decide to choose a fireplace for your heat source, be sure to have a well-working chimney damper so your fireplace can work as effectively as possible.
Effective Fan Use
Once you have a great heat source, you’ll want to help that source heat your home as best as possible. One way to accomplish this is to reverse the direction of your fans. During warm weather, fans are set to spin in a counterclockwise direction. However, once the cold hits, you’ll want to reverse the direction of the fans so that they spin clockwise. The physics of this motion actually help to push the warm air down into your house instead of letting it rise to the sealing. By reversing the fans’ direction, you’ll help your house to stay warmer.
Another way to help your home be prepared for the winter is to preserve your pipes. The cold air often causes water in the pipes to freeze, causing damage to the pipes. One way to help keep your pipes safe is to keep the heat on in your house constantly. Another great way to warm your pipes is to keep a small drip from the faucet running constantly. The continuous waterflow should help the water not get stuck and frozen inside the pipes.
Before the first snowfall, be sure to bring your outside furniture inside! If you have couches, toys, or other important items outside, you won’t want them to get ruined by the snow. So, bring them indoors. Additionally, make sure all other outdoor items are taken care of, including the sprinkler system. Fix it so that it doesn’t freeze in the cold.
Finally, to make sure your house is ready for the ice and snow, prepare the inside of your house. Be certain to have extra blankets and coats, especially in cases of power outages or heater troubles. Additionally, make sure you have nutritious food and snacks that you can eat in case you ever get snowed into your house.
The winter is a wonderfully fun time. However, to enjoy the season at its fullest, you’ll first want to be prepared. So, take the time to prepare your house, especially to make sure you’ll be warm in your house. Furthermore, add items to your closet and pantry that will help you in any emergencies, especially common situations like getting snowed in or power outages.
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