Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
Whether winter will be warm, wet or snowy, here are some quick tips to get your home and family ready:
- Stay warm:
Have extra blankets on hand and make sure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots.
- Live in an area with regular snowfall and cold temperatures? Add long underwear and snow pants to the list.
WHN TIP: Snowed In
Be prepared in case you’re snowed in for a few days. Have enough food, water, medications and other special needs for at least 72 hours.
- Back-up plan:
In case of a power failure, store flashlights, matches and firewood in easy to reach locations.
- Get ready:
WHN TIP: Firewood
Never store more than a few pieces of firewood indoors - storing firewood indoors may release harmful contaminants.
- Keep it tight:
Check that the doors and windows shut tightly
- Add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows, install caulking and weather-stripping around entry points for pipes and ducts that travel through an exterior wall.
- Stuff it in:
Proper attic insulation keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
WHN TIP: Insulate Me
Ask the staff at your local home improvement center how much insulation is recommended in your area, then check your attic insulation to make sure it’s adequate.
- Heat it up:
Heating sources are a major cause for winter fires. Be sure to have your furnace checked out by a professional. And don’t leave your space heaters on while you sleep! They could easily fall over and start a fire.
- Down the chimney:
Have your chimney or flue inspected each year by a qualified inspector.
- Close the chimney damper when not in use. Remember to open it before lighting a fire.
- Check the temp:
Consider buying a setback thermostat that will allow you to set temperatures lower when sleeping or when your away from home.
- Temperatures inside your house should be at least 55 degrees. Ongoing, indoor temps lower than 55° will not prevent the pipes from freezing, according to the Red Cross.
- Trim the tree:
Trim tree limbs that are hanging over or touching the roof. Winter storms can bring high winds or heavy accumulation of ice that will snap limbs.
- Bring it in:
Get the outdoors winter-ready.
- Drain garden hoses, roll them up, and store them inside.
- Close and cover the swimming pool.
- Cover outdoor furniture or store it inside.