9 Essential Steps to Take When Preparing for Winter
Are you ready for winter?
Winter is right around the corner, and with the cold weather comes a change in how we go about our lives. While we all know change is coming, you might not know how preparing can make the colder months easier.
Read on for these 10 essential tips when preparing for winter to make sure your winter is stress free.
1. Look For Gaps in Window and Door Frames
If you find gaps you can fit a credit card in, you'll end up losing a huge amount of heat from air leaking into your home. As a result, you'll see your bills soar as you need to use the heat more to compensate.
Use silicone caulk (sealant) on outside frames to fill in any troublesome gaps. Caulk is cheap, and most available fillers will do the job. You should make sure that it's all-weather though, so you don't have to keep reapplying.
Wrap the inside of your windows to stop cold air from seeping through the panes. Keep any blinds and curtains open in the morning to make the most of the sun to get natural heat into your home. It'll help give an initial boost to room temperature first thing in the day.
2. Prepare Your Home For Cooler Temperatures Over Time
As soon as that cold winter air rolls in, it's an automatic reaction to want to crank up the heating dial. Our bodies might be thankful for the immediate relief, but our finances might not enjoy the sudden hit.
Instead, you should acclimate your body with a warming pattern. If, for example, you usually keep the thermostat at 74° in the day and 68° at night, experiment by a degree each day for a month. This will let your body get used to the warmer, drier heat at a steadier pace and could save you a fair bit of money.
3. Clear Any Vents and Chimneys
Having a blocked vent or chimney can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Inspect all your chimneys and vents to make sure they are not blocked. If you do find any obstructions, remove them immediately.
Otherwise, it can block the exhaust. This can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. It can also cause your heating system to malfunction, or shut off completely.
4. Clean Out Your Gutters and Replace Shingles
While the weather is on your side, get up on the roof and inspect it for loose or broken shingles. Replace any shingles you come across to prevent snowmelt and water from getting into your home.
While you have the ladders out, check your gutters and repair any damage. Clean them of any dirt and debris so that rain and snowmelt can flow unobstructed.
5. Stock Up on Outdoor Hardware Supplies
Do early checks to make sure you have snow blowers, shovels, rakes, ice salt, and other winter outdoor items. You don't want to get into mid-winter and struggle to keep your home functional and accessible.
It's also a matter of safety for you and your family. You don't want anyone slipping on ice or hurting themselves on something under the snow.
Everyone will be rushing to the hardware store when bad weather is expected or arrives. It will be better to have been prepared ahead of time than to find out what you need is out of stock.
6. Drain Water From Sprinklers/Hoses and Move Them Indoors
The summer activities may be over, but that doesn't mean you can forget about your garden.
When water freezes inside a pipe or hose, it expands. This can cause cracks, leaks, or even burst it completely. This can also happen to your taps and faucets if you leave the hose attached outside.
Remove all hoses, drain out the water, and bring them into the garage. Make sure to shut off outdoor faucets to prevent your water pipes from freezing and expanding.
7. Switch Fan To Reverse
If your ceiling fans have a reverse option then use it. The shape of ceiling fans actually has a function. It helps hot air rise up and away from people living below.
When they run clockwise, they push hot air down into the room rather than letting it rise as it usually would. This will keep the warm air down where people are, helping to keep you warm.
8. Prepare Your Car for Winter
When the cold weather hits, make sure your car is prepared. It’s always a good idea to check your tire’s pressure and tread to make sure your tires are ready for the slippery roads ahead.
Make sure you check the anti-freeze levels because without it your engine could freeze. You also want to make sure you have the right windshield fluid so it doesn’t freeze on impact when trying to clean the salt and dirt off your windshield.
Finally, have a first-aid kit in the car and make sure it's topped up with essentials. This is a tip for all year round, not only winter.
9. Check All Fire Extinguishers
Because we're using heaters and fires that are on more to keep us warm, winter is the peak period for fire hazards. Check the pressure gauge on all fire extinguishers to make sure they are ready to use or have a professional check for you.
To use one, you should use the PASS system:
P – Pull the pin that's there to prevent accidental use.
A – Aim low at the base of the fire where the fire source is.
S – Squeeze the lever/button above the handle and release it to stop the flow.
S – Sweep from side to side until the fire is out and watch for re-ignition.
You should keep doing this until it's out completely or fire services are at the scene.
Preparing for Winter Made Easy
So there you have it! If you follow these 9 tips, preparing for winter will be easy. Do these things and you'll be safe and cozy all winter long.
At Vantis life, we believe that planning and preparedness are important, which is why we offer a range of life insurance products to ensure that no-one leaves their worries behind for their loved ones.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Vantis Life encourages individuals to seek advice from their own investment or tax advisor or legal counsel.