With the first frost come the realization that winter (and all its glory) is right around the corner. While we can all hope that the snow and below zero temperatures hold off for as long as possible, there is no denying that before we know it there will be icicles hanging from the our rooftops. Now, while the weather is still somewhat mild, is the perfect time to winterize your home and make preparations for the harsh temperatures and winter snowstorms. Here are 5 things you’ll want to make sure you do to prepare for your home of winter:
1. Check your doors and windows. Check and replace weather-stripping and caulking around doors and windows to prevent cold air from entering your home. Check your glass for cracks and replace if necessary. Switch out screens for glass replacements, or install storm windows if you have them, to help conserve heat inside your home.
2. Check Your Furnace. The last thing you’d want it to find out your furnace needs servicing when you really need it. Turn your furnace on now to make sure that it is working properly. You may want to think about replacing you furnace filter as well to increase air flow and conserve energy.
3. Service Winter (and Summer) Equipment. Make sure that your snow blower is serviced and ready to go for the first plow. Check and replace broken or worn out shovels and ice scrapers as well. Now is also the perfect time to clean up summer gardening equipment, drain and service your lawn mower and throw out an broken rakes.
4. Check and Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Now is a great time to check the batteries in, replace, or install smoke alarms. In addition, invest in carbon monoxide detectors if you do not already have one – especially if you have a gas fireplace. If you do have one, be sure to test it. You may also want to ensure that your fire extinguisher is still where it is supposed to be and that it has been shaken up and ready for use.
5. Prepare an Emergency Survival Kit. It is important to have an emergency survival kit it the house and all vehicles. Inside your home it is you should have indoor candles along with matches/lighters, bottled water, non-perishable food supplies, blankets, a first-aid kit, and phone numbers for the utility companies and emergency contacts. In you vehicles, be sure to include jumper cables, blankets, boots, battery-powered flashlights, non-perishable food, bottled water, a first-aid kit, and a shovel.