Having just gone through a cold snap that caught me unprepared for what seems will be another cold winter on the way, I am on a mission. I need to get my home ready — from the windows and the heater to the items I need on hand to warm my kids. Focusing on the most important things will help you get safely through the colder months. So follow these easy ways to prep your home for the cold now to prevent issues later!
Seal Those Windows
Whether you live in a newer home with double paned windows or an older one with single pane windows, they should be checked to make sure that gaps are caulked and sealed for the winter months. I can walk by a window in my warm and cozy house and get a blast of cooler air. Air coming in means that your heater has to work harder to keep the house at the temperature you want. Taking a few minutes to check your windows for cracked or faulty seals can save your pocketbook for sure. You can repair them or prep them with everything from a sealer from the hardware store to a plastic sheet that can be adhered to seal the whole window. Just expect to keep them closed all season or at least until you take off the coverings.
Get the Heater Checked Early
A few days before the cold snap hit Texas I turned on my heater to make sure it worked. It did not. Having changed out the thermostat over the summer, I simply forgot that it had to be programmed for my heater. Luckily, someone I know knew how to program the thermostat. Had they not been here, I would not have had heat two days later when the temperatures plummeted to the 40s. Having your heater checked out early, before the weatherman says it will get cold, can be a lifesaver. Most companies are busy right before and at the beginning of the winter season, so plan an annual check-up of your heater at the end of summer. That way there are no surprises.
Trim Those Trees
Those shady branches hanging over the eaves of your home may seem beautiful now, but when weighed down by ice and snow, they turn into a hazard that can cost you in the end. Heavy branches that splinter and fall can cause damage to your home and anything around it on the ground. Prevent being outside in 20-degree weather trying to put a tarp on your roof by getting those limbs trimmed early in the season.
Clean Out the Gutters and Divert Water
If you live in an area where there is a lot of ice and snow you will need a place for it all to go when it melts. Making sure fall leaves are out of your gutters and that the spouts are directed away from your home are necessary. Redirecting is easy. You can go to the hardware store and buy an attachable spout that can direct the melting’s away from your home. The further the better as another freeze may come. You don’t want pooled water freezing around the foundation of your home.
Wash Your Blankets and Get Your Slippers Out
When the cold hit earlier than I anticipated this year I had to scurry around finding everything from blankets I had stored to gloves and hats for the kids. Once I collected them all, they needed a good washing before we could use them. In the end, I wish I had these things ready before my kids starting whining about being cold! We’re all trying to get our homes in order, but we can’t forget about the blankets and outerwear that we need to be clean and ready to go, especially in the winter.
There are so many more ways to prep your home for the winter – like draining your sprinkler system and making sure your chimney is free of animal nests and clogs – but the most important ones are the basics. Make sure you have heat, warm pieces to wear and protect your roof and foundation. How do you prep your home for the cold this season? Share your ideas in the comments.