Winter is upon us! In the midst of freezing temperatures and the occasional blizzard, you probably want to be snuggled up on the couch, buried in blankets and sipping hot cocoa. And the very last thing you want to deal with is a home repair in this awful weather, right? Here are a few things you can do to keep your home in tip-top condition, at least until the springtime thaw.
Winter-proof Your Pipes
If the water inside your pipes freezes, then it will likely expand or produce chunks of ice, causing your pipes to crack and burst. Avoid this very unpleasant situation by draining water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, disconnecting your outdoor hoses, and protecting the water pipes in the unheated areas of your home (like your basement or garage).
Check Your Furnace Filter
If your furnace filter looks even a little bit dirty, it needs to be replaced—in fact, experts recommend switching it out every 4 to 6 weeks in the winter. Having a clean filter will help your furnace run more efficiently, and this can save you up to 15 percent off your heating bill!
Trim Your Trees
Did you think your Christmas tree was the only thing you’d have to trim this year? Think again. A stray limb that could hit your car or worse, your home, during a winter storm can easily spell disaster. Trim any loose branches you think could potentially cause problems now when it’s relatively mild outside.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
Gaps around windows and doors can often let a pesky breeze inside, causing you to crank up that thermostat even more. Caulk around your windows and put in weather stripping around your doors, and voilà, you’ve just saved more on your heating bill!
You’re probably already stocked up on cozy leggings and warm beverages. Be sure to keep some essentials stowed away as well, in case a brutal blizzard traps you in a power outage. Necessary for your emergency kit is an alternative heat source (like a generator or even a wood-burning stove), a fire extinguisher, ice melt, and a shovel.