Most of us will be staying home this March break, so why not enjoy a staycation? Here, we cover some local activities to try this year.
Preparing Your Home for Winter
As we settle into winter and the chilly weather that awaits us outside, it’s time to ensure our home is ready for the cold weather too. We prepare ourselves for the cold winter months by making sure our winter boots are ready and our parka is dry cleaned. We should do the same to our home to prepare it for the winter months by guaranteeing it is protected from the elements. The last thing you want to do is be making last-minute repairs when the cold weather has already hit. Here are some basic tips on preparing your home for winter.
Ensure Your Furnace is Operating at Full Capacity
This one might seem obvious, but the last thing you want to do is wake up on a cold winter morning and realize that the heat in your house isn’t working! Most heating and air systems last around 12 years, and that number has a lot to do with how well they’re maintained. The very least you can do before winter is to change the air filters. If you want to take additional measures, you can have your HVAC system inspected by a reputable contractor. Trust us when we say it’s much better to find issues with your HVAC system in December than it is in the polar vortex of February and January.
Test Smoke Detectors
As it cools off, our fireplaces turn on and the furnace starts running. With the added heat in the house, it is more common for accidents to occur. During the winter our house is closed up regularly to help keep the heat in. This can become a hazard for fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is imperative to regularly check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be working properly and have good batteries in them. Fortunately, homeowners can now get 2-in-1 alarms that are equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detection. These allow homeowners to have both alarms wrapped up into one!
Get Outside Furniture Winter Ready
Tagging off of lawn care, get your outside furniture ready for the winter. Even furniture that is “weather resistant” or is in a covered patio area will be subjected to damage from the harsh winters. Cleaning the furniture before storing it for the winter will help remove any dirt and mildew and prevent any more from growing on it throughout the winter. If your fortunate enough to have a shed or garage that can house your outside furniture for the winter months, now is the time to move it there. If not, wait until the furniture is dry and cover it for the winter. You don’t want to trap any moisture since that will cause icky mold and mildew to grow!
Get a Professional Energy Audit
A common winter preparation that homeowners may dismiss is an energy audit. Leading into the winter is the perfect time for an energy audit. Seals on doors and windows will be checked to make sure that the hot air isn’t escaping, and your house is running efficiently. The auditor will also check to make sure the furnace and hot water heater up to date. They will most likely check the filter in the furnace to see if it needs to be replaced. In general, they will check for any leaks that may cause a loss of heat and energy. This will also save you money in the long run!
Prepare Your Lawn
Many homeowners neglect lawn care leading into winter and leave it all to do in the springtime. Leaving piles of leaves and debris on the lawn over the winter months can be harmful to the grass and vegetation. This can suffocate your lawn before winter even starts. Moreover, wet leaves that are left on the lawn invite disease. Thick, wet leaves should be raked and disposed of leading into the winter months. Moreover, during winter, avoid walking on the lawn. The grass becomes dormant during the cooler months and walking on it can cause it to become very weak. Instead, keep your pathways clear and safe throughout winter. Ensure you have enough salt to last the winter and a shovel to clear the pathways. This will reduce the amount of damage your lawn endures throughout the winter months.
Preparing your house for the winter is all about ensuring it runs efficiently during the winter months. This cuts down on your expenses and reduces stress in the early spring as the snow starts to melt. Follow these tips to help protect your home from the elements this chilly winter. Want to talk more about getting your house prepared for winter? Contact us here.