While it may not feel like it, autumn is here in the northern hemisphere, and winter isn’t too far behind. And if the soothsayers of weather we call forecasters are correct, we’re going to be in for some “nice” skiing weather this year. Are you ready? Of course, the better question is “Is your home ready?” Here are some easy DIY tips to make sure.
Tip # 1: Check for Drafts
Winter is the season where we want to keep the warmth in and the cold out. The best way to make sure we do this efficiently is to make sure that the house is sealed properly. One of the easiest ways to do just that is to take a candle flame and hold it near the various cracks and crevices around your home. When the flame bends, you probably have a draft that needs to be handled. Thankfully in most cases a little caulk or sealant will do wonders.
Tip # 2: Have you checked your filters?
Chances are your home heating system is going to be working some overtime pretty soon, and it’s going to need all the help it can get. Just like you changed your filter in the spring- you did change it, right? Be sure to check it again and replace if needed. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions, and trust me- this little five minute job will save you a lot of time recovering from the winter blahs and sniffles when they come around.
Tip #3: Trim the Tree!
Okay, so I’m not talking about the holiday tree- it’s still a bit early for that. It is a very good idea however to take out your shears and trim away the various trees and shrubs around your house getting rid of the overgrowth and dead branches. Once the snow starts falling you won’t want to go outside to work and that extra weight of the snow can cause branches to fall and do some serious damage to your home.
Tip #4: Start Planning Your Winter Meals
Did you realize that if you eat warmer meals during the colder months, you don’t need to run the heater as often? Think about how many times your favorite winter soup or pot roast has “warmed you from the inside out.” There are plenty of warm and healthy recipes online or in your favorite cookbook that can help chase away the winter chill- and keep your energy bill low. Spend some time doing a little research and find a few old recipes or some new ones to try.
Tip # 5: Safety First! Check those Alarms.
Perhaps because of the cold, but according to the American Red Cross, the majority of home fires start during the fall and winter months. Wiring gets over taxed by new heating demands, people love to fall asleep by the crackling fire, and that wonderful stew you have sitting on the stove gets forgotten about. Whatever the reason, a real danger from fires and smoke inhalation exists during this time of year. So for the sake of your family, and yourself, please check and replace as needed all the fire alarm, carbon monoxide detectors and other emergency alarms in your home. Remember, these alarms have been known to save lives, and someday it could be your own.