7 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter
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Posted by Mike F. on November 19, 2015 in Home Focus

The leaves are done changing, and the trees are barren. We all know what that means, winter is near. When cold weather rolls around, it’s important to make sure your home is ready. Preparing your home for winter helps ensure a safe environment, lessens the likelihood of a major mishap like a burst pipe or fire, and keeps your home warm and toasty.

 

It’s never too early to prepare your home for winter. Check out these seven tips and get ahead of Jack Frost:

 

  1. Inspect and clean your furnace. Bring in a technician to inspect your furnace and make sure the system is clean and in good repair. Doing this simple check early can help lessen the chances of a breakdown when you need heat the most.
  2. Clean your chimney and vents. Not having your chimney cleaned is the leading cause of chimney fires due to creosote buildup. Also, a buildup in your chimney may cause carbon monoxide and smoke to enter your house. Have your chimney and vents inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional to alleviate these issues.
  3. Prepare your fireplace. If you plan to use a fireplace this winter, make sure your wood is dry and seasoned. It is important to have a metal or heat-tempered glass fireplace screen secured in front of the fireplace. Dispose of cooled ashes in a covered metal container at least 10 feet from your house.
  4. Check your house for leaks. Heat has the potential to leak out from many places around your home. Check the areas around your windows and doors. If the width is wider than a nickel, you need to reapply caulk. This won’t take much time, but it helps keep heat in your house and saves you money.
  5. Know space heater safety. Space heaters are a great way to keep small rooms warm, but they need to be plugged directly into an outlet (never an extension cord), be placed at least three feet from anything that can burn, and have an automatic shut-off feature.
  6. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Check that all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. Between your furnace, space heaters, and fireplaces, it is important that these alarms are working to protect you.
  7. Turn off your exterior faucets. Water left in your pipes over winter can freeze and cause the pipes to burst. To help prevent this, disconnect your garden hoses, drain the remaining water, and turn off the shut-off valve inside your home so no water can get into the pipes.

 

What other tasks do you perform to prepare your home for winter? Share in the comments below!

Mike F.
Mike F. knows ACUITY and insurance inside and out. He has more than 36 years of insurance industry experience, including 29 years at ACUITY. His expansive knowledge of home insurance makes him a valuable resource. One of his favorite things about the insurance industry is helping people recover from low points in their lives and getting them back on their feet. If he is going on a trip, you’ll likely find him somewhere warm and sandy


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