As I write about winter safety tips for the home, it’s 63 degrees and rainy, down from 94 last Wednesday. There’s no hints of winter in the air, just a winding down of summer. All the more reason to be like the ant in the Aesop’s Fable and prepare our homes for winter storms and weather.
Start your winter preparation by inspecting your home inside and out. Look for loose shingles or missing ones. Visually inspect your foundation and your chimney for significant cracks. Look for any holes that need filling, small and large. You don’t want any critters making their way into your home during the winter. Don’t forget to check the chimney for signs of nests.
Check your gutters for bunches of leaves or loose downspouts. You’ll want to check them again after the leaves have fallen off the trees in case the leaves have collected in the gutters.
Inside Your Home
- Check your emergency supplies. Make sure you have a 72 hour kit, and a Heat and Eat Box at least.
- Have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
- Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. Test the batteries each month, and replace them twice a year.
- Bring your pets indoors during the winter.
Keep the Cold Outside of Your Home
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Make a draft dodger for the front and back doors.
- Hang heavy curtains between cold spaces (garage/attic) and warmer spaces to reduce loss of heat.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Insulate any water lines that run along outer walls (water will be less likely to freeze).
- Service snow-removal equipment, or make sure you have plenty of snow shovels and ice removal supplies on hand.
- Have chimney and flue inspected.
- Cover your outdoor condensing unit if you have central air.