Emergency Essentials For Winter Weather
December 15th, 2014 by admin
Have you winterized your home this year? With the arrival of this frigid season, comes chilly air sweeping through the corners of your home, ice crystals dangling from your porch, and a blanket of snow on your roof. Thankfully, the inside of your house does not have to match the arctic world of the outdoors if you can learn how to successfully weather the storm.
To prepare for the low temperatures and drafts associated with this time of the year, don’t forget to include these winter essentials for the interior of your home. The drafts which flow through your house actually account for 5 to 30% of your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To combat some of these drafts, consider introducing some of these changes.
- Perform a draft test by wetting your finger and moving it around the area in question to feel for drafts. Around the colder corners of your home, use a towel or other item to block cold air from entering a room.
- Keeping your curtains open during the day will naturally heat your house. When they are closed at night cold air will be kept out, making for a warmer home.
- The greater the air sealing and the addition of insulation, the less heat will escape. Taking the time to properly seal your air ducts and uninsulated areas of your home will make a difference. Weather stripping around your windows and doors is a way to trap warm air inside your house.
- By reversing your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, you can actually blow rising hot air down, making your living area warmer.
- Purchasing a programmable thermostat that you can lower the temperature on while you are sleeping will reduce your energy usage and save you money.
Seasonal Use Items
Not all items can endure the harsh brutalities of winter. You should make sure to place items such as lawnmowers and weed wackers in your garage, and reintroduce others, such as snow shovels, ice scrapers and snow blowers. Your winter items should be accessible so they are easily within reach.
It is important to keep up with seasonal maintenance. If you primarily depend on firewood/pellets, make sure you are stocked up and be sure to clean out your chimney before the weather turns sour. Your heating system should be also be kept updated. Check to see if an air filter needs to be replaced, if you have sufficient amounts of propane/gas, and conduct a test run to make sure everything is still properly working.
Prepare Your Home
Before the troublesome ice and snow storms hit, there are some precautions that you should take. Be sure to check your primary heating system that you regularly use. If this is a fireplace, it should be checked for proper efficiency.
Heavy rain/snow: Make sure your gutters are cleared before the first snowfall. If they become too weighed down, they could pull away from the siding and water could leak into your home.
Ice: Outdoor water faucets should be turned off to prevent frozen/ cracked exterior pipes. Sand, salt or ice should be accessible near walkways to prevent slippage.
Wind: Check nearby trees which appear rotting or dead. Heavy wind or snow could result in trees collapsing due to the strenuous added weight. Any loose or missing roof shingles should be replaced to prevent leakage onto your ceiling.
Don’t forget to make your own emergency kit including candles and blankets if there is a power outage. You may consider investing in a generator if you live in a frequently hit area. By following these tips, your home will be winterized and ready for any emergency that comes your way.