When winter is mentioned, the first thing that springs to mind is getting warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold. But throughout the winter, your house must also be secured. Therefore, to keep your home warm and at a comfortable temperature, do not let that cold draught in. While we seek refuge inside our homes to stay warm and dry, without adequate preparation, the cold can wreak havoc on our plumbing and HVAC systems. The emergency tips listed below will help you maintain your comfort level by ensuring that your HVAC systems keep functioning normally throughout this winter.
1. Seal and Insulate
A simple investment in weather sealing can help you cut your energy costs significantly and keep you warm in the winter.
Weather stripping or caulk can be used to seal any gaps around doors and windows. Additionally, check the insulation around pipes and in the walls, attic, and basement. If you detect gaps in the insulation or sense draughts, think about adding extra.
Finally, to restrict heat from escaping from one room to another, place draught stoppers under internal doors. You can either make your own or buy some at the home improvement store.
2. Clean the Fireplace
To keep a fireplace operating effectively and safely, it should at the very least have annual maintenance. If not, it might malfunction in the cold or, worse, pose a risk.
Before lighting those logs, have a professional chimney sweep inspect your fireplace for safety and soot buildup.
And only use firewood that has been dried and seasoned for at least six months when it’s time to start a fire.
Last but not least, keep the flue closed when not in use to stop cold air from leaking in and increase your heating costs.
3. Get a chimney inspection
Have the chimney or flue inspected and cleaned by a professional before using your fireplace or wood stove as a source of heat. This action can stop chimney fires, which account for 19,000 household fires annually along with other wood-burning appliances.
Your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning may also increase if your chimney or flue is obstructed. Don’t forget to replace the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors.
You could waste precious heat through an open fireplace if your fireplace is not functional or is only for decoration. A chimney balloon purchase can stop heat from escaping and cold winter air from entering. If you wish to subsequently start a fire, just make sure to take it out.
4. Have your furnace inspected
Similar to a chimney, if you have a furnace, you should have it inspected annually. An early examination can give you time to purchase a new furnace before winter sets in if your current one isn’t functioning properly. You ought to think about either cleaning your air ducts yourself or having them done. To maintain your furnace functioning properly, make sure you’re also changing your furnace filters regularly.
5. Reverse ceiling fan blades
For maximum benefits, if your home has ceiling fans, you should rotate the blades according to the seasons. In warm months, the blades of the majority of ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to force cool air downward. The warm air in the room can be pushed down from the ceiling to keep you warmer in the winter by turning the blades’ rotation clockwise on the lowest level.
6. Prepare for winter storms
Pay close attention to the weather so you can prepare well in advance if a winter storm is approaching. Always keep your home and car emergency kits on hand, and check that your car’s maintenance is current and that it has a full tank of gas in case you need to leave.
Now might be a good time to get a portable generator if you don’t already have one. Generators can keep your house warm while you wait for the electricity company to restore service.
7. Check your drainage
Check that the soil around your foundation hasn’t changed, leaving spaces where water could collect at it. Simply fill in any low areas with soil if you see any. Next, walk around and inspect your gutter downspouts. Verify that water is being transported away from the house. If necessary, add downspout extenders. As the soil around the foundation freezes and thaws throughout the winter, saturated soil can cause serious issues.
8. Invest in an easy-to-read thermometer
It’s usually a good idea to have a sizable, simple-to-read thermometer in a prominent place inside the home for the elderly people in your life. Age-related changes in temperature may not be as easily felt by older people, which might have major health consequences, especially if they live alone. They can determine whether to bundle up and whether there may be a heat loss issue in their home by keeping a thermometer with them and checking the temperature frequently.
9. Free up the radiators
By clearing the area surrounding your radiator, you can prevent heavy furniture from absorbing the heat intended for your family if you reside in a home with radiator heating. By placing aluminum foil behind the radiator to reflect heat into the room, you can also stop heat from escaping your home through an exterior wall. A floating shelf strategically positioned above the radiator can also prevent hot air from rising too quickly to the ceiling. Just be careful not to put anything directly on the radiator.
Consider buying a space heater if your heating system can’t keep up; just make sure you’re using it correctly to prevent a fire.
10. Take care of low-hanging branches
Trees near your home have the potential to seriously harm it and possibly cut off your power. After a storm, the weight of the snow might break branches or bring the entire tree crashing down into your house or electrical lines. Have the tree’s health assessed before it starts to snow, and cut off any dead limbs or limbs that could cause significant damage if they fell?
By completing the winter home maintenance checklist, you can keep yourself warm, guard against cold-weather damage, and reduce your energy costs. With these suggestions for exercising outside in the winter, you may still enjoy the wonderful, frigid outdoors while it’s warm inside. After finishing, you can get toasty by your fire pit before moving on.