It’s officially that time of year! It feels exciting as everyone waits for the first beautiful snow and wonders if we'll get a white Christmas. That excitement will give way to the bitter cold days of January when you try to spend as little time outdoors as possible. It's important to take steps now to make sure your home is as ready for the cold weather as you are. Here is your guide to transitioning your home into a winter-ready fortress.
- Remember, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors do have finite life spans. Average life expectancy for a smoke detector is about 10 years whereas CO detectors should be replaced every 5 – 7 years. If there is no suggested replacement date on your smoke or CO detector or if you can’t remember when you bought it, consider some of the monitored solutions ADS Security has to keep you and your family safe this winter season.
- Be sure to test the batteries on your smoke and CO detectors every 6 months to make sure they are in working order.
- Have your chimney(s) cleaned and inspected before you light your first fire of the season.
Ice and Snow Safety
- Be sure to trim back any tree branches that may hang over your home as they can collapse under the weight of snow and ice. Inspect your roof for any weak spots or missing shingles and have them repaired before the first freeze. Puns about winter weather can be funny, but having your home damaged by accumulated ice and sleet is ‘snow’ joke.
- Stock up on rock salt to prevent ice from forming over walkways and driveways to avoid slips and slides.
- Pavement is more susceptible to cracks and damage during the cold weather. To avoid potentially dangerous chips and potholes in your driveway, check to see if there are any cracks or crevices that are larger than an eighth of an inch wide and have them filled.
Heating and Energy Efficiency
- The brunt of home energy costs in the winter months come from heating your home. Ensuring your HVAC ductwork is free of lint and debris and sealed for air leaks allows heated air to circulate more freely and prevents loss of heated air.
- Inspect windows and doors for cracks and separations. Apply caulking, weather stripping, and under-door draft blockers where needed to keep warm air in and cold air out.
- Installing a programmable thermostat gives you the ability to control your heating and cooling system when you’re away from home.
- If the air in your home is feeling uneven and stuffy, set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise. Doing so will create a subtle updraft and pull warm air down into the rest of the room, potentially saving you money on heating costs.
Home and Appliance Preservation
- Winterize lawn mowers and weed-eaters by emptying any gas in the fuel tank or adding fuel stabilizer, and changing the motor oil and air filters. Store them in a dry place to make sure they are ready to rev up in the spring.
- Gutters can quickly become clogged during the autumn months. Clear your gutters at the beginning of fall and maintain them throughout the winter months to prevent clogs. Fallen leaves block sunlight and can cause your lawn to turn brown prematurely. Be sure to collect and dispose of fallen leaves and other seasonal debris.
- For tips on how to keep your pet safe as the seasons change, check out our Autumn Pet Protection Guide.