Households all across the US are getting ready to lay the turkey on the table and we get ready to share what we are thankful for this year. The sleigh bells are getting ready to jingle and Santa comes to town in his one-horse open sleigh. All of these wonderful times of the year also mean that it’s time to start preparing your home for the winter weather that is ahead. Preparing your home for winter ensures that you have critical supplies on hand and that your home is ready to handle the frigid sleet, ice, and snow that is heading your way.
The following are 9 great ways to start preparing your home for the winter ahead:
Install and/or Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you use space heaters or a fireplace in your home, and you do not yet have a carbon monoxide detector in your home: install one immediately! The average detector costs $20 to $50 and can save your family’s life if carbon monoxide buildup began in your home from any heating devices that you may be used throughout the winter. You can’t put a price on your safety, and a carbon monoxide detector should be a must-have on every single homeowner’s winter preparation list!
Have Your Heating Unit Checked
Before the dead of winter hits and you are caught in the cold, you will have to be sure that the heating unit in your home works well. Having an HVAC technician out to check your heating unit to make sure that it’s in good enough shape to last the winter. They will check out the air filters to ensure that your family is breathing fresh air throughout the entire winter. If necessary they will take them out and clean them so that they catch more dust and dirt rather than letting your family breathe that dirty air into your lungs.
Having clean filters in your home that filter the air properly can also help you save up to 15% on your electric bill each month.
Insulate Your Home’s Pipes
If your home has any pipes that are in your garage or outside, there is a risk of them freezing, expanding, and bursting if the temperatures drop below 32 Fahrenheit. You will need to have your pipes insulated to ensure that you are safe from pipe leaks and the water damage that these leaks can cause to your home.
Add Reflectors to Your Radiators
Radiators are installed next to walls, which means that some of the heat goes straight into the wall, rather than heating the house and keeping your family warm. Installing a radiator reflector on the wall near the radiator will simply help the radiator reflect the heat so that your home stays warmer without using extra energy throughout the winter.
Flush the Water Heater
Flushing your water heater can help remove sediment and dirt build-up that collected there throughout the warmer months when you never used the water heater. Flushing out your water heater can help your water be heated more efficiently, which can also save money on your heating and electric bills. Flushing that valve once a month throughout the winter can help keep your water warm and your water heater working as efficiently as possible. It also gives you warmer water in your home throughout the coldest part of the year.
Ensure That Your Attic is Insulated
If your attic is not insulated properly, you will lose a lot of heat through that part of your home. It will take more energy to heat your home and cost you more to keep your family warm throughout the winter. Insulating the attic is the most important thing you can do to help winterize your home and ensure that you are saving money on your electric bill (especially as fuel prices skyrocket).
Get Rid of Your Space Heaters
Space heaters can definitely help keep your home warm, but you want to check each space heater in your home for safety. If you have space heaters in your home, be aware that they heat air through combustion which means that they release CO2 into your home. CO2 is also known as carbon monoxide which can be fatal if it builds up in a small space for long enough. Opting for other types of heating devices is your smartest move.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
If you are going to use your fireplace to make fires to keep your family toasty this winter, then hire a chimney sweep to come to clean all of the ash and soot out of your chimney. Keeping your fireplace clean if you use it regularly is vitally important to ensuring that your chimney is clear so that no blockages can cause carbon monoxide poisoning for your family.
Replace Damaged Shingles
Check your roof for any damaged shingles. Replacing damaged shingles helps to insulate your home from the cold, and can help keep your family from spending more on their electric bill than necessary throughout the upcoming winter.
These are 9 great ways to help prepare your home for the upcoming winter. Completing these tasks not only can help your family remain warm throughout the winter, but it can also cut down on your energy bill this coming winter. You want to use the energy to heat your home in the most efficient way possible, including eliminating any ways that energy is wasted.
A Word on Carbon Monoxide Safety This Winter
Checking to ensure that your family is safe from any carbon monoxide is also vital. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so there is no amount of money that you can spend that is “too expensive” when it comes to keeping your family safe while you stay warm this winter. Installing working carbon monoxide detectors in your home (if you have not already done so) is vital to keeping your family safe during the coldest months of the year.
Be sure that you run all space heaters in well-ventilated areas and never use them while sleeping or when you are not home. Be sure to keep your fireplace clean and have a chimney sweep clean your fireplace annually to prevent soot and ash buildup that can cause blockages in your home. Always be sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home as well. They will alert you if carbon monoxide levels rise, so you can seek treatment for your family immediately.
When preparing your home for winter, you want to consider both your family’s safety and ensure that you are not wasting energy in order to raise your electric bill. If you are looking for more ways to keep your home safe and warm throughout the coming winter, please be sure to contact us at Maffei Services for more information. We are always here to make sure that your family is warm, safe, and well-protected throughout the coming winter (and every other season as well).