If you're from Fort Worth, you know, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo starts in January and it usually brings winter. Preparing your home for the cold is not just about keeping warm; it’s about ensuring your home is safe, energy-efficient, and ready to perform. We've put together some quick tips to get your home winter-ready.
Inspect and Clean the Heating System: Schedule your professional inspection of your furnace, boiler, or heat pump to ensure they are in good working order. Replace air filters to improve efficiency and air quality.
Seal Windows and Doors: Check for drafts around windows and doors. Use weather-stripping or caulk to seal any gaps. This simple step helps keep your home warm and the cold outside.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, which can damage your roof and siding. Clean out leaves and debris and ensure downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation.
Inspect the Roof: Look for missing or damaged shingles that could lead to leaks when ice accumulates.
Insulate Pipes: Prevent frozen pipes by wrapping or covering the outdoor spigots and when it's going to be especially cold drip your faucets. Know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of a pipe burst.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly. Replace batteries, if necessary.
Prepare an Emergency Kit: Winter storms can lead to power outages. Have an emergency kit with essentials like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and a first-aid kit.
Reverse Ceiling Fans: If your ceiling fans have a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. This simple trick pushes warm air down into the room.
Protect Outdoor Plumbing: Drain and store hoses indoors. Shut off outdoor water valves to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Prepare Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces: Trim tree branches that could break under the weight of ice. Take care when using your walkways and driveways. Kitty litter is especially helpful on walkways to prevent slipping.
Taking the time to prepare your home for winter can save you money, prevent damage, and keep you and your family safe and comfortable. Start these tasks early, and you’ll be able to enjoy the winter season with peace of mind.