Cold Weather Tips For Your Home
There is a lot to look forward to during the cooler months. However, without properly preparing your house for winter weather, your time could be spent making costly repairs to your home as a result of cold weather instead of enjoying fun activities. Making adequate preparations in and around your house is key. But just where do you start? Use the following cold weather tips for home to get your home ready to take on the cold without suffering any damage.
Cold Weather Tips for Home: What to Do to Prepare
Without properly protecting your home, you can experience issues such as burst pipes, water damage, high energy bills, uncomfortable temperatures, and more. Fortunately, with the right winter home maintenance tips and preparation in the weeks and months leading up to cold weather, you can enjoy a relaxing, uneventful winter season. Some of the most important cold weather tips for home necessary for preparing your house for winter weather are to:
Protect the Pipes: One of the most important cold weather tips for home is to protect the pipes in your house. When water freezes, it expands. During cold weather, the water in your pipes can freeze and expand, resulting in cracked or completely burst pipes. Additionally, you may experience a burst pipe when water builds up behind a chunk of ice. Burst pipes can cause extensive damage in your home, including water damage to walls and floors, flooding, and mold growth.
But just how to protect pipes from freezing? To prevent frozen pipes, there are a few cold weather tips for home to take. First, disconnect and drain any hoses sitting outside. Store the hose safely for the winter in a warmer space such as a garage or basement. Next on how to protect pipes from freezing, insulate any exposed pipes to regulate temperature and prevent them from bursting. Another on the list of cold weather tips for home for your pipes is to drip faucets. If wondering how many faucets should I let drip, it depends. A good rule of thumb is to let hot and cold faucets in bathrooms and kitchens drip.
Clear Gutters: When gutters are not cleared during cold weather, they can form ice dams. Ice dams are created when heat from the roof melts snow on top of it, which then drains to the edges of the house and refreezes. When gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves and other debris, water cannot properly drain and will instead flow through cracks leading into your home. Key to preparing your house for winter weather is to clear gutters so that water can successfully drain from the roof and away from cracks in the roof and in the foundation of your house.
Mind the Fireplace: Who doesn’t love a warm fire in the winter? Preparing your house for winter weather also means that before you light up, you should make sure the fireplace and chimney are clean. If debris is left in the fireplace or chimney, it can potentially catch fire and cause a serious threat to your personal safety and home. If you are unfamiliar as to how to properly clean your fireplace and chimney, enlist the help of a professional chimney sweep to get the job done.
Check Heating Sources: In preparation for cold weather, among the top cold weather tips is to check that your heat is working properly. This entails checking your furnace by engaging the blower. You will also want to change the filter in your furnace as the start of the cold weather season, then every few months after. Without a properly cleaned filter, your house won’t warm up as efficiently. Further, check that your HVAC system is clean and free of dirt and debris. If not clean, dirty air ducts can cause harmful contaminants to circulate throughout your home when your heat is turned on. Check for visible dirt on air vents, one of the most obvious signs of dirty air ducts.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: During the winter months, your home is at a higher risk for house fires if you enjoy using your fireplace, candles, and cooking large holiday meals. Because these winter activities involved the use of open flames, one of the recommended winter home maintenance tips is to make sure smoke detectors are all in working order to keep your family safe in the event of a fire. Also, make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. The risk of carbon monoxide exposure increases during winter months. What makes this gas particularly dangerous and lethal is that it has no color or odor.
Inspect Your Roof: In many states, with winter comes snow and rainfall. This can leave you at risk for flooding and other types of water damage if there are any cracks or holes in the roof of your house. Also important for preparing your house for winter weather is to make sure to inspect your roof a couple months before the winter weather sets in to ensure you have enough time for any repairs. Water damage can be particularly unpleasant, leading to mold and a pricey restoration process.
Seal Windows and Doors: Among important cold weather tips for home and cold weather tips for apartments is also to seal windows and doors. As you can imagine, cracks or holes in and around windows and doors can cause cold air to get in, and warm air inside your house to get out. Caulk around windows and fill gaps under doors to help save on heating costs.
The Home Winter Weather Checklist
Before the cold sets in, make sure that all the items on this winter weather checklist have been checked off to ensure a safe and comfortable season free of pricey repairs:
- Prep pipes - drain hoses, insulate exposed plumbing pipes, and drip hot and cold faucets (remember, those asking how many faucets should I let drip, focus on faucets in bathrooms and kitchens)
- Clear gutters - remove buildups of debris such as dirt and leaves sitting in gutters
- Clean your fireplace and chimney - make sure your fireplace is free of dirt and ashes prior to lighting fires
- Inspect your HVAC system - confirm that furnace filters are clean and air ducts are free of dust and debris
- Check your roof - make sure there are no cracks or holes in the roof that could lead to water damage
- Trim tree branches - tree branches near your roof can cause damage during winter storms