Learn How to Make the Complete Winter Checklist from the Experts You Trust
Every homeowner knows about spring cleaning, but did you know there are things you should do around the house to get ready for winter as well?
Preparing your house for the cold and snow doesn’t take a lot of time, but the benefits you'll reap from going through this checklist include saving money, being more comfortable, and keeping your family safe.
Dealing with the Snow
As fun as it is to play in the snow during Bloomington's winters, snow and ice can be a real hazard this season. This is especially true on roads and walkways, including the ones around your house.
Not only is ice a problem that can lead to slips and falls, but it could also leave you dealing with liability issues if somebody else—like a neighbor, visitor, or mail carrier—falls on your property.
Fortunately, the solution is simple: get out to the store today and stock up on de-icing salt to melt ice and prevent it from forming. This is also a good idea when you have frozen pipes outdoors, a frozen plumbing system can be a hazardous issue, and it affects your indoor plumbing as well.
Keeping the Air Clean
There are many reasons why you should change or clean your furnace filter regularly, and two of the most important are efficiency and cleanliness.
A furnace with a dirty filter will have to work harder, and this means you'll waste more energy and spend more money keeping your house comfortable.
Moreover, if you have a dirty furnace filter, chances are there will be more dust, dirt, and particulate floating around in the air, and this could lead to breathing problems and coughing. It’s also advisable to have your HVAC and ventilation systems inspected by a professional before running your furnace, just to make sure there aren't any problems or leaks.
Keeping Your House Safe
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are life-saving devices that every home should have. But these alarms won’t do you any good if they aren't working or the batteries are dead, and this could lead to tragedy.
The solution to this is simple as well, and all you have to do is test the devices every month, replace them as necessary, and change the batteries yearly.
This is especially important in winter when the furnace is running, when you're having fires inside, and when the house is so closed up.
Making Sure Your Family Stays Warm
You may give all the credit to your furnace for keeping you warm in the winter, but without proper insulation, all that warm air would leak out of the house and cold air would seep in, and it would be a never-ending battle to keep warm.
The good news is that your home undoubtedly already has some insulation, and you can add more cheaply and easily. One of the simplest and most affordable things you can do to reduce drafts and keep more warm air inside is to install weather stripping around doors, windows, vents, and other access points into the house.
You can also pad exterior walls, the attic, and the basement with additional insulation, and cover drafty windows with thick plastic. A special note about pipes: While wrapping your waterlines with insulation won’t help your furnace, it will help to prevent frozen and burst pipes, which is a definite bonus.
The cold, snow, and icy winter winds will be here before we know it and you'll thank yourself later for taking care of these simple tasks now. Along with keeping your family warm and safe and your house more comfortable, you'll also save yourself some money by addressing these chores, and that means more to spend later on vacations, ski trips, and other fun winter activities.