10 Tips to Help You Prepare Your Home for Winter

snowman1-300x200

Winter has come, but is your home prepared for winter? Here are 10 tips to help you prepare your home for winter.

1. Stock up on supplies

It is wise to stock up on supplies. Some important items are batteries, flashlights, battery operated radio, first aid kid, fire extinguisher, and, of course, non-perishable food. Try to get food that doesn’t necessarily require a refrigerator.

2. Prepare your home for winter

To prepare your home, have a local HVAC company come and service your furnace. They will check for problems and make sure your furnace is running all winter long. Southwest Heating and Cooling will get out and service your furnace today. They will also look for any carbon monoxide seeping out of your furnace. Check your alternative heating methods too. Seal your doors and windows to prevent any cold air from seeping in. Replace batteries in smoke detectors.

3. Stay warm indoors

Try to stay warm without using too much energy. Use your fireplace, or alternative heating methods. Dress in layers and eat well balanced meals.

4. Protect your water pipes

Taking care of your pipes is extremely important. To protect your pipes, wrap them with heat tapes and seal any leaks in the pipes where cold air might reach them. When it does get cold, allow a little hot water to flow through the pipes and don’t allow the heat to go below 55 degrees. In case the pipes do burst, turn off all water and call a plumber immediately. Do NOT use flame in an attempt to warm the pipes.

5. Prepare for light shortage

In case of light shortage, immediately call for a utility agent to come out to repair your lighting. Unplug your lights to save energy that’s not being used, and your appliances. You should also turn on faucets lightly to prevent the water from freezing. And keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.

6. Generator Safety

Generators are important for energy. Before installing your generator make sure it’s disconnected from your electric utility service. Think about having a qualified electrician inspect it. It is VERY important to run generators outside due to carbon monoxide. Don’t overload your generator, and let it cool down before refueling. Follow the manufacturers instructions and you should have no problems.

7. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Be very careful about carbon monoxide. It is an odorless, colorless gas that kills about 1,000 lives each year. Carbon monoxide occurs my misuse of generators heating sources, like kerosene heaters and gas grills. Be safe; NEVER run generators indoors, NEVER burn charcoal indoors, and NEVER use oven gas to heat a home.

8. Fire Safety

Wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and heaters can add a cozy glow, but make sure you are using them safely. Protect your fire with a screen and burn charcoals outside. Check your chimney to make sure your fireplace is safe. And of course, be sure to check your fire detectors are working.

9. Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene heaters are great for supplementing your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, although they, too, need maintenance. Follow the manufacturers instructions when maintaining. Only refuel outside, and keep it at least three feet away from flammable objects. Just remember that just because it’s cold out, fire hazard is still a possibility.

10. Clearing your roof

As the snow and ice continues to build up, homeowners should think about safety before trying to clear the snow from their roof. Take care when working on cleaning the roof; Use snow rakes and poles. Treat it like you’re climbing a mountain. Be sure you take help with you, working on the roof is very dangerous.