As the colder months approach us, it’s time to start thinking about what can be done to winterize your home. Winter storms typically occur in the Midwest anytime from late October to April. They are most likely to happen during the winter months of December to February. Here’s the thing – winter storms range from light snowfall for several hours to a blizzard that makes it impossible leave the home for long periods of time. These circumstances can be just as dangerous as any other natural disaster.
10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather
10 - Blankets
Make sure to have plenty of blankets on hand in case the power goes out or your primary source of heat isn’t available. Store an extra blanket in each room of the home or have a designated area where blankets can be easily accessed.
9 - Alternative Heating Source
It’s important to have an alternative heating source so that you have another way to keep the home warm and cook meals. If you don’t have a fireplace, here is a list of other sources of heat:
- Closed Loop Geothermal Energy System
- Solar Powered Energy
- Masonry Heaters
- Pellet Stoves
- Wood Stoves
- Propane Heaters
Another tip to help save money on energy during the winter is start acclimating your body to colder temperatures. If you keep your house at 72 degrees during the warmer months, try and lower the temperature by 1 degree every week for the next four weeks.
8 - Clothing
Some people get excited about spring cleaning; I experience the same feelings when it comes to winterizing the home. It’s the perfect time to switch out all of your cooler clothing and fill up the closet and dresser with warm, cozy clothing. Heck, maybe even add a couple of pairs of crazy socks just to spice things up this year.
7 - Food Storage
For most of you who follow the Ready Store blog, it seems like a no-brainer that you should have enough food storage. Stock up on food. This will come in handy if you are ever snowed in and are not able to make it to the local grocery store for more than a week.
6 - Water Storage
Don’t let your stored water freeze! It’s important to keep it in an area where the temperatures are consistent throughout the year. Too hot or cold of temperatures can warp the water containers.
5 - Winterize Your Home
When you better insulate your walls and attics, the farther your fuel supply will last. Consider caulking and weather stripping doors and windows to prevent heat loss. Clean out the leaves from rain gutters. This will save you from adding extra weight when snow hits your home.
4 - Insulate Pipes
Before temperatures drop, shut off the main water valve outside and detach any hose spigot from faucets and turn off the sprinkler system. With internal piping, insulate pipes with slip-on foam sleeves. Plastic piping is easier to maintain compared to copper and steel. Also, consider using heat tape to protect them from freezing.
3 - Winterize Your Car
This is one of the most important things to do as winter starts to creep in. If you’re not confident in your abilities to do car maintenance, take it to a mechanic to check the following things:
- Check your battery
- Change wiper blades
- Refill wiper fluid
- Change the oil
- Check your tire pressure and tread (consider getting all-season or snow tires)
- Check your anti-freeze
- Restock your car’s 72-hour kit
- Check heating system
- Check belts and hoses
Get in the habit of wearing extra layers when leaving the home and always keeping extra coats, gloves, hand warmers and beanies in the car.
2 - Check Your Roof
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, have the roof checked for integrity. Ask yourself, can it handle the weight of the snow that will come?
1 - Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand
House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions. Always keep an eye on your alternative heating source
What do you do to winterize your home?