With the winter months fast approaching, cold weather is bound to happen. If you live in the northern areas of the country, now is the time to prepare for freezing weather. Even if you live in a transitional area, the weather might drop below freezing. It's important that you prepare your home for winter before the freeze hits, otherwise damage may occur.
1. Service your Heating System
Winter means heating your home. That means using your furnace. It's important that your furnace is serviced and ready to work. An inefficient furnace will cost you extra in heating bills at best, or become a danger to the home at worst. Replace the air filter. Test the furnace to make sure it heats and circulates air properly. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector nearby in case something goes wrong.
2. Seal or Weather-strip Doors and Windows
Heating your home is one thing, but to save money and remain comfortable, you should seal your home. Old doors will wear out over time, so replace or add weather-stripping between the door and the door frame. This minimizes air transfer when the door is closed. Windows can be insulated or sealed over with window plastic to reduce air circulation as well. Rope caulk is also an option to seal small gaps around a window.
3. Winterize your Water Softener
If your home is going to be sealed for the winter, you may need to winterize your water softener in order to prevent bursting pipes or damage to the softener itself. The general procedure changes from water softener model to model, but the general idea is to bypass the softener and drain the water from it. If your home will remain heated, you will simply need to monitor the softener in the event of freezing temperatures.
4. Take Safety Precautions
Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functional. If you have and plan to use a wood burning fireplace, make sure the chimney is clear of obstructions. Never leave a fire burning unattended. Any exposed pipes in your plumbing system should be insulated, especially if you will be sealing the home and leaving it unattended. Fire is one of the biggest dangers in winter.
5. Examine the Roof
Icicles lining your eaves may look beautiful, but they are a sign of a poorly insulated roof. Heat rises through your roof and melts the snow, which drips off the eaves and freezes into icicles. Check the insulation in your roof and add or replace it if necessary. Outside, check your gutters and make sure they are free of obstruction. Melting snow can fill up a gutter and freeze again, which damages both the gutter and can harm the shingles if it backs up underneath them.
Peter Wendt is an article writer living in Austin, Texas. Peter takes careful considerations for his home during the winter months. He learned his lesson after last year’s unpreparedness for the freezing temperatures. Peter recommends clicking here for the best water softener company and help for your home.