When winter puts a chill in your bones, don’t forget what it might also be doing to your home. Luckily, there many simple and inexpensive ways to protect your home from the harsh winter chill. Try these techniques to keep you home safe, cozy and warm all winter long.
Heating your home through the winter months is essential. If you depend on a gas, propane or electric furnace, take these simple steps to keep things warm this winter.
Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat, if you don’t already have one. Set the temperature around 68-72 degrees when you are home and awake. Set the temperature to 65 degrees when you are away from home or asleep, to save on fuel and heating costs. Also, check the batteries in your thermostat regularly.
It helps to know if anything is amiss before the weather turns nasty. Have your furnace inspected by a professional each year. Heating professionals can alert you to potential problems, clean the inside of the furnace and replace the filter. You can also purchase furnace filters from a Country Store and replace it yourself, if you prefer. Just be sure to check the size before you shop.
If your primary source of heat is from a fireplace, wood or pellet stove, you’ll need to prepare well in advance of the cold weather.
Find a reliable source of fuel and at least one backup source, in case your primary source runs out.
Have a backup plan, in case you can’t travel to pick up fuel due to inclement weather or bad roads. This could mean storing an emergency stash of fuel or having a fuel delivery service on-call.
If you have a chimney, have it inspected and cleaned each winter. When not in use, keep the damper closed to keep cold air out.
The best way to maximize your house’s heat efficiency during winter months is with insulation. Try these insulation techniques, to conserve heat and save money.
Inspect windows and doors and replace damaged or worn weather stripping. You can purchase weather stripping at a Country Store and install it yourself.
Pay close attention to places where pipes, ducts or wires enter your home and use caulk to seal holes where warm air could escape.
Consider adding thermal curtains or drapes to windows and glass doors, to further insulate against the cold air.
Once you’ve taken care of the inside of your house, turn your attention outside to winterize your garden, yard and equipment.
After the last leaves have fallen, clean your gutters and downspouts thoroughly to prevent overflow.
Walk your property and look carefully for tree limbs that could threaten the roofline. Trim them carefully so they no longer pose a threat.
Have a professional take care of dead trees before they become a windfall hazard.
Drain hoses, faucets and sprinklers and store them in a warm, dry space for the winter.
If you live in a cold climate, you may consider covering your outdoor faucets with insulating caps and using heat tape on pipes prone to freezing.
Finally, give some TLC to your plants to help them survive the winter and ensure a thriving garden come spring.
Consult a gardening manual to learn which plants need pruning in the colder months.
Add mulch to your perennial flower beds.
These simple steps will go a long way to ensuring you home has warm, safe and worry free winter. If you have questions about winterizing techniques or products, please visit a Country Store at one of our 12 locations.