The coldest months of the year are upon us. Here are 7 helpful tips to prepare your home for the frigid temperatures!
- Prevent pipe damage: Drain your outdoor faucets and hoses and have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Consider using heat tape to keep any indoor “problem” pipes warm during the lowest temperatures. Also, make sure that you know how to turn your water main off to minimize damage if a pipe does burst.
- Get your fireplace and heating system ready: If you and your family love a warm crackling fire during the winter, be sure to get your chimney cleaned and inspected. Gather or order firewood and store in a dry area so you have it on hand when the temperatures drop. Have a professional come out and clean/check your heating system so you don’t get stuck on the coldest day of the year with a heater that suddenly stops working. Be sure to change the filter on your furnace monthly so the dust build-up doesn’t impede air flow.
- Reverse your ceiling fans: Once you switch your heat on, switch your fan to run in a clockwise direction. This causes an updraft that pushes warm air down away from the ceiling and can help warm up a room and reduce energy costs.
- Clean your gutters: If you live in an area with taller trees, chances are you have leaves falling into your gutters. It’s important to clean these out to prevent leaks and ice dams.
- Mulch your leaves: Instead of raking and collecting all of your leaves, consider mowing them into the grass. If dry leaves are mowed into small pieces, they can act as a mulch for your yard that will decompose over the winter and feed your lawn.
- Prepare your lawn mower for winter storage: If you have fuel left in your lawnmower, add a fuel stabilizer to lengthen the life of the fuel. Run the mower for a minute or two to make sure the fuel stabilizer circulates evenly.
- Hold off on pruning trees and shrubs: Horticulturists now say to wait until late winter to trim back bushes in trees until after they have been dormant for a while.