Being ready for winter at home is crucial. When the cold weather hits it’s too late to play the “am I ready?” game. Instead, at that point, you already need to ensure that you are, in fact, truly ready. We’ve complied truly important winter home preparation tips and steps to help you know exactly what to do in order to thrive through the cold, dark, and long winter months. This post is part of a two-post series that covers four areas you want to consider when winterizing your home. The first two areas we will cover in this post are: how to stay warm, how to stay safe. Head on over to part two where you can see our tips on what areas need extra winter prep and how to meet your basic needs.
How to stay warm during the winter
Make sure your heating equipment are in working order
I can’t even begin to imagine how terrible it would be if my furnace went out on the coldest day of the year! Making sure that your furnace and water heater are in working order is such an important first step to having your home winter-ready. If you’re not sure how to get around a water heater, find a reputable technician to do a formal inspection. This is a good idea because not only are they able to inspect and ensure that your furnace and heat pump are in working order, but they also can test and find carbon-monoxide leaks, if there are any. Not sure who to trust to do your tune-up? Chances are if they belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America they have required protocol and will get the job done properly.
Inspect all the areas that can make your home drafty
Closely examine your window and door frames and if you have any gaps bigger than the width of a nickel, you will need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is the best for this kind of use because it holds up against the elements. Get your caulk here:
How to Stay Safe
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Although rare, there are too many sad stories of carbon monoxide poisoning affecting families, especially this time of year when we are working extra hard to keep those we love warm and cozy. It’s important to do routine checks on both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are in working order, because knowing if they are working can be a matter of life and death. Most detectors have a “test” button and when pushed it will emit a high-pitched, loud beeping sound. When you hear this sound, you can rest assured that you won’t miss hearing it, if it does in fact go off due to a carbon monoxide leak. If you have a digital readout carbon monoxide detector, it’s also recommended to confirm its ability to detect and measure carbon monoxide levels. Running your own test on its effectiveness is simple and can be done with a substance that emits low levels of gas. Just make sure that when self-testing you use safe practices.
Clean out your chimney and stock up on firewood (if you have wood burning capabilities)
If you have a chimney, make sure that the vents are clean and in good condition. A chimney fire is completely preventable when properly maintained. Chimneys can also be a source of carbon monoxide if they aren’t in proper working order. If you’ve never had your chimney professionally serviced and don’t know where to turn, this site can help you find a certified chimney sweep.
Want more? Stay tuned for PART TWO to continue with our winter-readiness tips!