Wednesday, 07 November 2012 16:22

Preparing your home for winter

Simple tips to get you Springfield IL home prepared for the winter months

Winter is coming… Winter months can be hard on your home. Freezing temperatures can damage outside pipes, siding, decks and gutters. Snow and ice can make it difficult to make repairs, and could cause even the smallest problem to snowball into a significant expense.

By acting on many of these tips, you can safeguard your home and reduce energy bills.

Outdoor Projects

  • Drain gas from lawn mowers. Scour and lubricate garden tools. Store tools o hooks or shelves to keep them away from melted snow.
  • Prepare winter tools, including snow shovels and blowers. Test, clean, sharpen and make any necessary repairs.
  • Drain and store water hoses.
  • Shut off in-ground sprinkler systems and have water blown from pipes to avoid freezing.

Indoor Projects

  • Have your furnace inspected before the first cold snap. Getting this done early will keep your family warm and safe, and save you from having to wait (sometimes weeks) for a service professional.
  • Move flammable items away from the furnace.
  • Stock up on furnace filters.
  • Check attic insulation levels and add new insulation if necessary.
  • Seal openings around doors, windows and exposed pipes.
  • Consider purchasing a water heater blanket and wrapping pipes in special insulating tubes. These can be obtained
  •  from a home improvement store.
  • To maximize energy efficiency, purchase insulating drapes, curtains or blinds.
  • Change screens on storm doors if necessary.
  • Test portable space heaters and discard any not in top working order (Malfunctioning space heaters are one of the leading causes of residential fires during winter.)
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and install new ones if necessary. Consider changing batteries.
  • Have fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned.

Final Hints/Tips

Schedule a utility company visit. Many companies will send an inspector at no charge to help find ways for you to save money on your heating bills.

Assemble an emergency kit with candles, matches and new batteries for flashlights. Compile phone numbers of emergency services and utility companies.

Have a supply of blankets, bottled water, a first-aid kit and easily prepared non-perishable food at a central location in case of a power outage. Have a battery-powered radio on hand.

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