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Oct 23

Five Ways to Make Your Home Winter Weather Friendly

Yuji's new fireplace

Winter is coming; is your home ready? If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you better get started. Making sure that your home is ready for the winter will ensure that your utility bills won’t skyrocket and your family will be toasty and safe. Here are five ways to make sure that your home is winter weather friendly:

1. Weather Stripping

If your doors and windows aren’t properly sealed, cold air will seep in and warm air will leak out. Walk through the inside of your house and walk around the exterior, checking to make sure that all of your doors and windows are free of gaps. Your weather stripping should be intact and flexible. If you find any stripping that is dried out or cracked, head to the store for a replacement roll. You also need to make sure that your window air conditioning units are covered properly if you have any in your home.

2. Adjusting the Thermostat

If you haven’t installed a programmable thermostat, now is the perfect time to do so. In order to cut down on your utility costs, set your thermostat to 68 during the day and 65 at night when you’ll be asleep. If you work outside of the home for eight or more hours a day and don’t have pets, consider setting the thermostat as low as 65 when you won’t be home. By keeping your thermostat set low, your heating system won’t be constantly turning on trying to heat your home.

3. Supplemental Heating

Supplemental heating is another great way to stop your furnace from kicking on constantly. Look for corner fireplaces, radiant heaters or even kerosene heaters to add extra heat to your interior. These supplemental heaters are often more cost-effective to run and will prevent your furnace or baseboard heaters from having to fight to heat the entire house.

4. Stock Up on Salt

If you’ve ever been through a blizzard, you know that stores can quickly run out of salt for your driveway and walkways. Consider buying a few bags a week and stockpiling them in your garage or shed. This will ensure that you always have a bag of salt to put down when the snow starts to fly. Remember that if you have pets you should look for salt that is pet-friendly to prevent chemical burns on their foot pads.

5. Tune Up the Snow Blower

Unless you want to be stuck with a sore back all winter long, you’d better make sure that the snow blower is in working order. Change the oil if necessary, fill it up with gas and make sure that it starts. If you do this before the first snow fall, you’ll have time to have any needed repairs performed. If your snow blower is electric, make sure that your extension cord is both rated for cold weather and in good condition. You don’t want to have to head out through piles of snow to get a new cord.

Making sure that your home is ready for the winter weather now is a good idea. The weather is still warm enough to get outside and perform any maintenance that needs to be completed. You’ll also have the peace of mind in knowing that when the blizzards do hit, your family will be both safe and ready to brave the storms.

Debra Moore writes for design blogs and uses www.fireplacespot.com to find fireplaces for her designs.

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