With that cooler weather right around the corner, the holidays will be here before we know it! If you haven’t already started preparing your home for winter, now is a great time to start. We’ve put together a few tips on how to prep your home’s exterior and interior for these cold seasons; plus, we’re sharing some ideas on how to cozy-up your space for the holidays.
Repair / Replace Loose Roof Shingles
You should always ensure that your gutters are in good shape to keep out moisture, and clear away any ice or debris that may have accumulated. Consider installing a leaf guard if your home is not already outfitted with one. You can also clear downspouts using a water hose; just make sure this is done on a warm day.
If you notice any loose shingles, nail them down to ensure they are secured properly. For larger damage, you should contact a local professional to complete any necessary repairs.
Shut off your Exterior Faucets
Make sure you disconnect your hose and drain out any left over water from the faucet. Turning off your exterior faucets helps prevent your pipes from bursting during freezing weather.
Fight the Frost: Protecting your Plants from the Cold
Young plants simply cannot survive the frost. To protect them from the colder temperatures, cover your plants overnight with a blanket or plastic sheet. If you choose to use plastic material make sure you remove it before the sun rises or your plants will cook.
To protect your perennials, add some extra mulch to cover the crowns of the plant. You will need between two to four inches for proper coverage. You can also use straw, hay, and leaves as a substitute.
Reverse the Direction of your Ceiling Fans
Most people don’t think about their ceiling fans during the winter. However, savvy homeowners know that changing the direction of your ceiling fans can result in huge energy savings. The spinning blades help push rising heat back into the room (at the same level as your thermostat settings). Most ceiling fans feature switch that reverses the direction of the blades. As a rule of thumb, your fan should spin clockwise during the cold season, and counterclockwise in the summer.
Seal up the Gaps in your Windows
Using caulk to fill any large gaps around your windowsill will help keep cold air from entering your home, and help save you a ton on your utility bills.
Hang Heavy-duty Drapes
An easy way to keep out drafty air is to hang thermal or heavy-duty window treatments. Not only will this help regulate the temperature of your home, but you will also add a fresh, new look to your living space.
Hire a Chimney Sweep
There’s nothing like roasting chestnuts on an open fire. However, before you do, you should have your chimney system inspected by a professional chimney sweep. If you notice cracks or black soot accumulating, reach out to an expert ASAP.
Invest in a Carbon Monoxide Detector
We all want to stay cozy and warm during the winter. Unfortunately, some increase their risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide in an attempt to make their home nice and toasty. Any heat source that operates on burning fuel can give off carbon monoxide. If you have fuel-burning appliances like a clothes dryer, furnace, fireplace, water heater, stove or generator, you have a carbon monoxide source in your home.
Invest in a CO detector to help monitor carbon monoxide levels in the air. The alarm will alert you of the levels get too high, saving the lives of you and your family members.
IT’S TIME TO GET COZY!
Change Up your Bedding
Update the look of your bedroom by choosing thicker fabrics, like flannel and knits. You can even layer blankets for a more cozy feel.
Add a Few Holiday Scents in the Mix
Tis the season! Now is the time to fill your home with holiday spirit by using warm, natural scents to make your living space feel more festive. Some of our favorite scents include cinnamon, apple spice, firewood, and sugar cookie candles; they add just the right amount of cheer.
Hang String Lights in your Living Space
Hanging string lights throughout your living space can help transform your home and create a warm glow that makes it clear the holidays are here!
GOING OUT OF TOWN? HERE ARE A FEW HOUSEHOLD BASICS.
- Be smart about which appliances you leave plugged in while you’re traveling. Leaving your TV and a lamp on can help deter burglars. However, all of your other appliances should be unplugged (except the refrigerator and freezer).
- Turn off your water supply and drain your pipes to keep them from freezing. You can also install a water-flow sensor and a low-temperature sensor on your water main so that you can monitor your system from your smartphone.
- Shut your gas lines off. If the furnace runs on heat and hot water, contact your gas company and let them know that you will be out of town.