6 Things to do to Prep Your Home for Winter
Cheer is in the air and holiday excitement is running amok. Before winter officially hits us in full force, make sure that we’re not caught unprepared. So while we’re prepping our homes for the holiday festivities, decking the halls, hanging the lights, filling the stockings, lighting the menorahs, cleaning the house, putting up your wreaths, and preparing for family visits, don't forget to prep our homes for the winter weather.Winter weather is some of the harshest of the 4 seasons. With it comes rain, snow, ice, and of course the cold temperatures. Same as you protect yourself from the elements, by taking precautions and putting on layers the same should go for your house. Below are 6 things to do that will keep your house in tip-top shape this winter.
- Clean your window’s weep holes. Windows have drains. The drains ensure that the standing water that makes its way into the window tracks have some place to go, and preferably not into your house! Window weep holes allow this water to drain outside. Make sure these small holes aren’t clogged by poking out the gunk with a wire hanger or spraying some compressed air through the weep hole.
- Protect your air conditioning unit. Ensure that any window units that you might have are all put away before winter comes. Protect your outdoor unit by placing a sheet of plywood on its top and weighing it down with a few bricks. This small protective measure will ensure your AC is blasting on cold in a few months when you need it.
- Drain your water heater. Overtime water heaters collect sediment at the bottom which unevenly distribute the heat and makes your water heater underperform, or work overtime causing you to replace it sooner that you have to. It’s recommended that you drain the water heater at least once a year, preferably twice. In the winter months, this will help keep your showers nice and hot so you can warm off quickly after a frozen day.
- Disconnect your garden hose and turn off the water. Water freezes. Frozen water pipes can burst and that causes big problems. To avoid this, check all of your exposed piping, and don’t forget your attic too. Ensure that your pipes are covered and insulated.
- Check for drafts on doors and windows. Drafts let in the cold air, and make your heater work overtime. This will drive up your heating costs during the winter. To easily fix drafty doors, consider using draft guards for an airtight seal. Use weather-stripping on the attic access, the window sills, and other places where cold air can seep-in.
- Check your Fire Alarm Batteries. Studies have shown that the winter is the most popular season for fires. By being proactive and ensuring that the batteries in your alarms are up-to-date, it creates a safer home for everyone in your home. In the same vein, make sure your family has a Fire Safety Plan. This plan should make sure everyone knows what should happen in case of a fire emergency. We encourage you to practice a fire drill with your family twice a year.