Plummeting temperatures. Frigid wind gusts. Piles of snow. Heavy, slippery, freezing rain and ice. The winter season is not always festive, its accompanying weather threatening the safety of your family and your home. However, much like other weather-related adverse events, a little bit of preparation can ensure a winter season free of unexpected hardships.
What can you do to ensure your home is adequately prepared for this cold winter season?
Guard against heat loss.
Added attic and wall insulation, as well as caulk and weather stripping around doors and windows, keep heat in your home and protect against drafts, stretching your fuel supply and heating dollar farther in keeping you comfortable.
Protect against snow and ice.
Replace damaged or missing shingles to prevent snow and ice-related leaks and structural damage. Clear gutters to prevent ice damming (when melting snow refreezes in gutters and seeps under your roof).
Trim back trees.
Heavy, ice and snow-laden branches can snap off, damaging your home and property.
Properly prep all modes of water transport:
Wrap basement and crawlspace water pipes with insulation sleeves.
Remember to trickle faucets during cold weather to avoid frozen/burst pipes.
Learn how to shut off the main water valve now so you’ll be prepared in the event of a leak/burst.
Turn off exterior faucets whose pipes can burst in a freeze.
Drain your irrigation system.
Divert water at least 3 to 4 feet from your home’s foundation with addition of downspout extensions.
Clean chimneys and fireplace venting.
Professionally cleaned and maintained chimneys and fireplace venting protects against creosote fires and unknown blockages that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Tune-up your heating system.
Unless you want to be waiting around in for heating repairs on a cold day, address heating equipment maintenance now. This not only ensures safe operation, of tremendous concern for gas-fired models, but detects problems advance that could result in midwinter issues, boosts efficiency and energy savings, and safeguards the lifespan of your heater.
Don’t put your safety in the hands of an archaic system.
If you’re pushing your luck with a system you know is on its last legs, consider upgrading before temperature extremes take their toll. Today’s highly efficient heating systems can keep you warm for a fraction of the cost of older models – and offer you additional protection in the form of extensive manufacturer warranties.
Put a 24/7 furnace repair company on speed dial.
If your current heating and air repair company only offers 9 to 5 service, find an HVAC service provider in your area who understands that issues don’t always occur during normal business hours, and offers emergency service for HVAC repair to keep you and your family safe and warm.