Once again, the nation is creeping ever closer to the frigid realms of the winter months. In some areas, the first snow of the season has already made its appearance even before the leaves had a chance to finish falling off the trees. Though early outlooks indicate much of the country may see warmer-than-average temperatures for the coming months, warm remains a relative term.
Tips for Beating the Cold to Come
With the exception of those few areas already immersed in uncomfortably cold temperatures, there’s still plenty of time to make preparations for what’s yet to come. First of all, go ahead and drag the blankets and thick coats out of storage. From there, start taking a look around your home for possible problems.
- Winterize Outdoor Faucets: Some homes are equipped with valves to shut off their outdoor water supplies. If this is so in your case, be sure to cut your plumbing’s ties to the exterior faucets before sub-freezing temperatures hit. Pipe wraps are readily available at any hardware store as well; of course, old towels and duct tape will suffice in a pinch.
- Revamp Weather Stripping: Doors and windows are notorious for letting the cold in and the heating out at all the wrong times. Check the weather stripping around those components of your home to make sure they’re spongy and undamaged. If they’re torn, loose, losing their puffiness or missing altogether, replace them.
- Wrap the Water Heater: During autumn, winter and early spring, water heaters tend to bear some of the brunt of the cold. Visit a local hardware store or contact your electricity provider to get a cozy, insulated jacket for it. It’ll use less energy trying to keep the water warm, and your family will be less likely to suffer from frostbite in the shower.
- Get the Heat Checked: Home heating systems always seem to let down their owners at the worst possible times. Call in a technician to perform an inspection now, so any potential problems can be averted early.
Unfortunately, winter hasn’t been canceled this year, so it’s going to bring its annual wrath to most of the nation. Take the necessary precautions now to keep your home safe and your family comfortable. Get the whole family involved, and make it a yearly undertaking.