10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter
When extra blankets are needed and you’re reaching for those warmer jackets and gloves, you know it’s time to get the home ready for the winter months ahead.
While most of us don’t quite hibernate, we do tend to stay home more as the rain and chill sets in. And when you need to keep the home fires burning, it’s comforting to know your home is up to the task!
Enjoy 10 simple steps anyone can take to make sure you’re prepared for wet weather and the bitter cold.
1. Give Your Heating System a Tune Up
Unless you’ve recently had a service, it could pay to check that your heating system is up to scratch and can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. If you’ve got a furnace or gas heater, have it tested for carbon monoxide leakage.
2. Check Your Roof
Even if you don’t get the ladder out and climb up there yourself, at least give your roof a good scan and check for loose or missing shingles. Ignoring faults in your roof could lead to serious repercussions with leaking, water damage and electrical problems.
3. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If you’ve got ceiling fans, they should have a reverse switch. Use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction when you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push the heat down into the room (remember, hot air rises).
4. Clean Your Gutters
If your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water can back up and damage roofing, siding and wood trim, along with causing leaking.
5. Divert Water
Add extensions to downpipes so that water runs at least a metre (3 to 4 feet) away from the foundation. This is to avoid potential water damage to your home’s foundation.
6. Cover Up Hard Floors
If you have tiles, hardwood or concrete floors, rugs are an easy way to make your rooms cosy and comfortable in winter. Hardwood floors are not only cold underfoot but also fail to hold in any heat.
7. Upgrade Curtains and Blinds
If your windows are lacking in the covering department, consider investing in insulated curtains or roller blinds. Curtains and blinds not only hold in the warmth but can be a stylish addition and improve home security and privacy.
8. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you don’t have them already, smoke detectors should be installed inside every bedroom and outside all sleeping areas. Those who have gas and wood heating systems should consider installing carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is odourless and colourless and therefore hard to detect.
9. Trim Your Trees
Keep all tree limbs trimmed and away from your house. Trees with branches near or hanging over the house can damage your roof and windows. Your council should remove tree limbs close to power lines.
10. Insulate Your Windows
One of the best ways to save money on heating is to seal up cracks in your windows. This can be done by using air seal and caulk, weather stripping and/or window film. Speak to a hardware store expert to work out what’s best for your situation.
Winter proofing can be a DIY exercise or you could choose to call in a professional. Taking these simple steps will help keep you warm and prepared for most potential crises as winter sets in. For more advice, don’t hesitate to contact the plumbing, electrical, roofing and gas professionals at Upside Down.