It seems the colder weather is upon us and it’s not going anywhere for a while! As we were are busy putting away the shorts and flip flops and beginning to pull out the cozy sweaters, hoodies, hats, gloves and boots there are several things we often forget to do to prepare our homes for old man winter.
As my family was settling down for family time the other evening, we decided to have our first fire of the season in our fireplace. As we were preparing everything it dawned on me that this was the FIRST fire at our new home, not only was this exciting but I also had a moment of panic!
This was the FIRST fire since we don’t know when; we moved into our home in early June so we assume it has probably been going on a year since anyone has had a fire. My husband assured me that he had it checked, everything was in good condition and ready for our FIRST fire and a new memory. We went ahead and had our fire and it was wonderful! However, it got me to thinking about all the other “To do’s” we had to prepare for the winter.
Here are a couple of good practices to prepare your home for the winter months that lay ahead of us.
Call a chimney sweep – have your wood burning fireplaces cleaned and inspected before using. Buildup can cause a chimney fire, also make sure the damper working.
Clean out your gutters – make sure to remove all the leaves and debris from your gutters after fall to insure the winter’s rain and melting snow can drain. Clogged drains can form ice dams which can cause to water leaking into the home.
Check your Furnace – It’s a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and tuned annually. Make sure your filter is clean- a dirty filter reduces air flow and lowers efficiency and could cause a fire in extreme cases.
Check your alarms – Most of us have checked our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with the time change, but I know how time slips away and this can be overlooked. Fire Officials say detectors should last approx 10 years.
Restock your Winter Essentials – Many of us don’t think of this and wait for the first big snow/ice storm and then we all rush to our local stores only to find the shelves bare. Make sure you have salt for driveways and sidewalks along with either a shovel to dig out or a snow blower.
For these and other winterizing tips check out these websites, or give us a call.