It’s Cold Outside: How to Winter-Proof Your Home

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If you don’t like the fall with its gloomy weather, you are definitely not going to love winter chills. You are not alone in this, as your house doesn’t bear winter well either. That’s why winter-proofing your home should be a top priority this fall. Inspecting the structure and performing all the necessary repairs will ensure you are warm and fuzzy all winter long.


Covering the Outside AC Unit


How’s the heating inside your home? If it’s comparable strong without the need to use the AC unit as an additional heat source, then you should protect the outer unit of the air conditioning system. Since temperatures plummet below zero at night, the electric wiring can freeze inside. Furthermore, snow can get inside the outside unit, damaging it as it melts. For all these reasons, a simple plastic sheet can help you preserve your AC unit for many summers to come.


Protecting the Plumbing


Another weak spot outside your house is the plumbing. Pipes run the length of the structure underneath it, which means they get little or no protection from the freezing air outside. Moreover, the pipes in the basement are also not out of danger because this room doesn’t have a heating body inside. If the water inside freezes at any time, usually overnight, a crack might appear, causing the pipe to burst.


Apart from cold water plumbing, there are hot water pipes running through your house. You depend on these to heat up your house so they must feature a layer of insulation. Most modern hot water pipes come with this protective layer made from special foam but that’s not the case with older edifices. Go into the basement and check the state your piping is in.


Finally, the garden water tap should be dismantled for the season. Just closing the valve won’t do any good because there will be some water left in the pipes; enough to make it freeze overnight and burst the pipes. The problem is pronounced here because there is no running water inside the backyard tap. Also, the garden hose should be placed inside the shed because the rubber becomes brittle in cold weather.


Sealing the Windows


So far, we have only been discussing what can be done on the outside of your home. However, winter-proofing the interior is just as important. Apart from insulation beneath the floors, behind the walls, and underneath the roof, windows and doors need to be airtight. When you come to think of it, these are just large openings in the structure of the house so sealing them correct is a top priority.


If the installation crews did their job correctly, the most common problem occurs with windows that won’t shut all the way. This creates a gap that draft blows through, lowering the room temperature and giving you cold in the end. What you need is quality window hardware to install on your windows. Replace faulty locks and install fasteners to ensure the window area is 100% winterproof.


Clearing the Gutters


Although there aren’t going to be many showers during winter, there is going to be snowfall. It will eventually have to melt and when that happens, the gutters on your roof will be put to the ultimate test. In order for the gutters to process such an amount of water, they need to be cleared of any debris that might have accumulated during the previous autumn.


The cleaning procedure is quite simple, grab a pair of ladders to gain access to the roof and then topple all the leaves, branches, and an odd baseball down to the ground. However, you need to take care of safety and place the ladders on stable, even found. Furthermore, do not overlean trying to grab as many leaf piles as possible. Winter is the period when you don’t have to be extra warm but extra cautious as well.


A Clean Fireplace


If your home has a fireplace, then don’t start the winter season without cleaning it first. The more wood is burned inside it, the more fine ash particles will rise in the air and catch on the walls of the smokestack. After a while, these can even clog the chimney at its narrowest point so seasonal cleaning is a must.


The way you clean the fireplace is fairly easy. Just grab the vacuum cleaner and vacuum the inside of the fireplace. If you want to be more thorough, then scrubbing is required. If you own an electric fireplace, it too requires cleaning now and then. You don’t want Santa to get dirt on his uniform, do you?


Testing Smoke Detectors


Since the heating bodies are going to work full steam and the fireplace will get lit up, there is going to be heat smoke in the house. This means that the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will need to be fully operational. Test them before the winter season and replace the batteries from last year.


If you are ready for the onset of the cold season, you will winter it without much trouble. Preparation, inspection, and minor repairs constitute an essential segment of winterproofing your home. The six pieces of advice listed here should not be skipped if you want to stay warm and safe this winter.

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