January 17, 2013
The comforts of a cozy, warm home in winter can help you forget about the short days and the multiple layers of clothing. Following a maintenance schedule throughout the year will certainly benefit you in the winter, but be aware of the hazards the cold conditions can bring to your home. These guidelines can help you weather the winter season with a well-maintained home.
Since your heating system will be running constantly throughout the winter, remember these tips to be energy efficient:
Pipes located in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing in extreme temperatures. When the forecast calls for unusually cold temperatures, let water drip from hot and cold faucets overnight. Also, try keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate in places like below sinks. If you open the cabinet doors, be sure to remove anything inside the cabinets that may pose a safety to hazard to children, such as household cleaners. For exposed pipes in your attic, basement, or crawlspaces, add extra insulation around them. View the tips to avoid frozen pipes for more information.
Even with the cold weather conditions, your yard still needs to be maintained. Make sure tree and shrub branches are well away from the house and windows. Icy conditions can cause branches to break and damage your home. Walk around your home and survey the roof to see if any ice dams have formed; call a contractor if you suspect this is the case. As you walk around your house, check the foundation for small cracks or openings where mice or other pests can tunnel in. Winter is when they seek the warmth of your house, so seal up any possible entrances. While you're outside, clear snow off gas meters and away from basement windows and your dryer exhaust vent.
Blackouts and snow-ins can occur during winter months, so take a moment to prepare yourself and your family for such emergencies. Having the following items ready will help you make it through safely.
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