How to Prepare Your Home For Winter’s Chill
As winter weather fast approaches, there are many things you can do to help protect your home this season. With these few maintenance fixes, you can safeguard your house and give it some much-needed TLC before the temperature drops for good, using these helpful tips.
Replace Air Filters
Cooler weather and air quality go hand-in-hand. Depending on the type of home that you live in, whether it be permanent, vacation or bi-annual, your filters should be changed accordingly. Air filters do not carry a definite replacement requirement. However, your living conditions will help gauge when you will need to make the switch, such as any allergies, filter type, and pets. One rule of thumb to follow, however, is to switch your filter out every 2 months just to be on the safe side and to keep the quality of your air continuously clear.
Changing air filters is a cinch and is typically either found in the ceiling of your home or located next to the HVAC unit in your garage or basement. All you’ll need to do is slide out the old one to replace it with a fresh one. If your vent cover is dirty, you’ll need to remove dust, leaves, and cobwebs that could impede air flow. A backpack vacuum cleaner is a great tool for outdoor clean-up projects like this one, as they are more powerful than a regular vacuum and feature enhanced filtration.
Protect From Drafts
Drafts do more than just make you feel uncomfortable in your own home—they are an opportunity for heat to escape, raising your energy use, heating bills, and carbon footprint, all in one fell swoop. Take steps to insulate your windows from drafts. All you need are some elementary handyman skills and a handful of basic tools like a caulking gun and tape measure.
If your windows are in need of some professional TLC due to a damaged sill or seal, you may need to contact a professional for repairs. Most homeowners spend between $170 and $375 to replace a window pane.
Spruce up Pipes
Depending on where you live, you may have insulated or bare walls and pipes. Homes located in northern states tend to be pre-insulated, due to long winters, while the south’s sporadic cold weather leads to bare piping systems. Frozen pipes are hazardous because they can block water from flowing. Since ice expands, this can lead to bursting. Invest in some insulation which can keep the entirety of your home warm, as well as your pipes.
When pipes burst, this can also cause potential leakage among your walls, which can transform into mold if not remedied properly. If your pipe is still salvageable, you may tighten them or use epoxy or rubber to seal the cracks. However, you’ll need to replace any exposed areas or your entire pipes if they are too damaged to avoid costly repairs in the long run. Due to the flooding that typically occurs along with burst pipes, repairs often run $5,000 and up.
Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Accidents are inevitable, but the leading causes of home fires are always preventable, according to Accurate Home Inspections. One of the best ways to protect yourself against a potential fire is to obtain a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm. Smoke alarms are inexpensive ways to protect yourself from harm. Though you can usually smell smoke, you cannot always see it. When there is smoke or a fire in a home, smoke alarms are typically loud enough for you to hear them, even in your sleep. Most homes should have more than one smoke and carbon monoxide detector, especially in each sleeping area.
Midamerican Energy Company explains carbon monoxide is generated by fuel-burning devices and appliances when fuel doesn’t burn completely. Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector has an alarm, however, there are three main sensors and once it goes off, it must be placed in a carbon monoxide-free zone in order to reset.
When it comes to the quality of your home, the little things go a long way. Get your house cold-weather ready by tightening the loose ends on maintenance and creating a harmonious environment for the seasons to come. Visit Making Space Organization for more tips and information on how to keep your home organized, and remember you can schedule a complimentary consultation to get clutter under control!