Who says winter is no fun? Crackling fires, warm beverages, and holiday cheer all add up to give the post-summer season plenty of charm, comfort, and delight. Of course, getting the most enjoyment out of this frosty time of year means preparing your home for the change of seasons with a little home winterization. Here are 5 tips for staying warm and snug when the weather turns cold and crisp.
Know Where the Heat is Going
Warm air can exit your homes from multiple locations, including the gaps along windows and doors. This you probably already know. What you may not realize, however, is that your fireplace, power outlets, and the space around your attic door are also notorious for letting heat escape. Hardware and home improvement centers carry caulk, foam gaskets, and other products that will stem energy loss from these spots.
Clean/Organize the Garage
It’s time to put away the spring/summer gear, so while you are storing it all away, what better time than now to finally organize your garage. To optimize your available space, assess it and create a vision. Remember, the key to an organized garage is to keep the floor clear, so use any and all wall space by installing shelving and cabinets. If you run out of wall space, overhead storage is a great option, as it can be easily mounted on your current ceiling.
Prepare for Power Outages
A power outage adds to the risk inherent in coping with cold weather, according to the government’s emergency preparedness agency. You should prepare for this possibility beforehand by stocking emergency supplies. These should include:
- Extra firewood (if you have a fireplace).
- A flashlight for each member of the family along with spare batteries.
- A well-stocked first aid kit.
- Phone numbers for your local utilities.
- Water stored in a place where it’s unlikely to freeze.
- Food that requires no cooking.
- Warm sleeping bags or blankets.
- A radio with extra batteries.
Avoid burning charcoal inside your home or using a cooking stove for heat. These can cause fire or asphyxiation hazards.
Prep Your Yard
Here are some ways to get your yard ready for the winter season:
- Aerate your yard every two years.
- Apply a good autumn fertilizer along with extra grass seed to fill in any bald or thin spots.
- Trim tree branches to prevent ice from bringing them crashing down on your home.
- Clean the outside of your chimney to prevent mold and moss from taking up residence and spreading spores into your home.
- Prepare your mower for a long winter’s nap by draining the fuel tank, coating metal parts with oil or grease, and cleaning the underside. Cover summer lawn equipment with a tarp made from canvas or other breathable material and place it at the back of your garage or storage shed.
- Rake the leaves from your yard or, even better, mulch them. They will spend the winter feeding your lawn with valuable nutrients, helping you to have a healthy lawn next spring.
Winterize Your Pool
Getting your pool ready for a Grand Island winter is essential for preventing algae growth, clogged waterways, and other problems that can give you a nasty surprise next spring. Here are some steps you can take to avoid these issues:
- Use a good chlorine-free oxidizing agent. Chlorine-based products can erode your pool liner and pool cover.
- Add an absorbent to soak up suntan lotions, body oils, and similar compounds. Otherwise, a thick layer of grime may form inside your pool over the winter.
- Make sure the winterizing kit you use is designed for your pool size. In fact, it’s a good idea to choose one that’s a size larger than your water volume to ensure thorough winterization.
Following the steps outlined in this post will help you and your home to make it through the coming cold season safe and snug. So toss another log on the fire, wrap up in a comfy blanket, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.