- Created on Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00
Last week, we suggested a checklist of outside Fall maintenance items to get your home ready for the winter. As the weather gets colder, it’s time to also address maintenance issues inside your home, to be sure you’re ready for when the snow flies.
A crack the size of a dime can reduce a room’s heat efficiency by up to 30%. Check windows, doors, and foundations for cracks and crevices that may be seeping heat in the winter. Replace cracked or peeling sealing strips around doors, seal window frames with caulking, and apply fresh mortar to any cracks or crumbling mortar in foundations.
Check Air Filters and Vents
A sealed and heated winter house can quickly become stuffy if air filters are dirty. Check air filters at least once every two months and replace as necessary. Ensure that vents are closed or open appropriately. Remember that heat rises, so partially closing the vents in upper floors of the house may ensure even heat distribution (follow the opposite logic in the spring when air conditioning is turned on).
Replace Fire Alarm Batteries
Household fires are more common in the winter, when furnaces and candles are used more often. Ensure your home is fire-resistant by replacing batteries in all fire alarms, and installing fire alarms on every floor of your house.
Clean Out the Garage
Most people regret using their garage for extra storage when they’re scraping ice off their car on a cold winter morning. Take the time to clear your garage and make space for the car park. If you have too much unused stuff, consider donating unused items to charity or calling a junk hauler to take away your garbage for a nominal fee.
Drop Some Throw Rugs
Snow, ice and salt quickly make a nasty slurry on any hard surface floors near entrance points. Install cheap and durable floor mats near doors to soak up water clinging to people’s boots.
Create Your Emergency Kit
Losing power in the winter can be serious, if temperatures inside the house drop below freezing. Pipes may freeze or water pressure may stop, and in a storm you may not be able to go out to get supplies. Ensure that you’re prepared for a long power outage by putting together an emergency kit including:
- A flashlight, and spare batteries or lantern with an extra fuel can
- An empty paint can or large coffee tin and bundle of candles, to create a small heat source or to melt water if necessary
- Two 1 gallon jugs of water per person in the house
- A battery powered or hand crank radio, to listen for news updates
- Hand sanitizer
- A few good warm blankets
- Canned food that doesn’t require heating, and a manual can opener
Store your Emergency Kit where it’s easily accessible with the lights off, preferably along with a First Aid Kit.
With this simple checklist and a few hours of work, you can ensure that your home is ready for Winter, and you’re not left out in the cold dealing with a preventable problem.