Inspect the Exterior Walls of Your Home for Holes
Even the tiniest holes where cables and wires enter your home can allow cold and freezing air in. Use insulation to provide a protective covering to patch any holes. Seal off any cracks or wear in your windows and doors with new weather stripping or caulk.
Shut off the water to outside spigots
Plumbing is especially at risk to freeze when temperature drops below freezing. To make sure your home is protected from a potential disaster, disconnect any hoses and insulate your hose bibbs by using towels or rags.
Insulate your pipes
This might be the most important step you take in protecting your home this winter. Frozen pipes can burst, resulting in having your home flooded. This can lead to a catastrophic home insurance claim if you are not prepared. Make sure you take those necessary steps ahead of time, so your home is not at risk.
Allow your faucets to maintain a very light drip
Your water bill is not going to skyrocket if you take this step. It’s a helpful step because you will have that consistent drip of water that can protect against having your pipes freeze. Make sure that both your hot and cold lines are opened slightly. Finally, open your cabinets in your kitchen to allow for more air circulation. By doing this, your home’s heating system will keep the pipes warm.
Shut off your water at the meter
Always know where your crescent wrench is just in case you need to shut off your water at the meter.
Keep your garage door closed
By keeping your garage door closed, you are preventing cold air from entering, thus protecting hot water heater and any other plumbing that may be located inside your garage.
Keep your gutters clean
Clogged gutters may lead to possible ice and ice dams forming on your roof. Make sure they cleaned out throughout the winter season.
Run your ceiling fans in reverse
By doing this, you are allowing warm air to come back into your living space. Not only are you keeping your living space warm when you do this, but you are saving money on your energy bill as well!
Inspect your fireplace before using it
This really depends on how often you use your fireplace. But, a general rule of thumb is to have your fireplace inspected at least once every two years. If you ignore this, you may be leaving your home at risk for a house fire due to creosote build up. Getting a professional to inspect your fireplace will give you the peace of mind you need and deserve.
Are you leaving town?
Ask a family member, friend, or neighbor whom you trust to keep an eye on your home if you plan to be away for any extended period of time. Before you leave, make sure your thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature to prevent any unexpected problems when you return home.