By now, you’ve probably turned on the heat or are at least thinking about it. Temperatures have fallen below freezing across central Ohio, and will be falling into the 20s for lows before the week is done.
Even though we might still technically in fall, we are in a very winter like pattern now, and it is time to make sure that you have winterized your home.
When getting your home ready for winter, there are a few ares to pay attention to including preparing supplies, clearing exterior gutters and downspouts, checking your doors and windows, cleaning and checking your heating systems and making sure that your fire places are ready to be safely lit.
As far as getting supplies together, it’s important to have safety kits ready for both your car and house.
Withing your car this time of year it’s a good idea to make sure you have everything ready in case you get stranded- especially once snow and ice move into the forecast. A few things to keep in your car include extra layers like hats and gloves, a blanket, a flashlight with extra batteries, nonperishable snacks like granola bars and nuts, a small first aid kit and a fully charged external battery for your phone so that you can call for help if you need it. It is also a good idea to keep a small snow shovel and ice scraper in your car along with cardboard or kitty litter in your car so that you can create extra traction underneath your wheels if you slide off the road due to ice and snow.
Inside your home, the safety kit should look similar. In winter, power can go out due to wind and ice accumulation, so make sure that you have a flash light and extra batteries, extra blankets and layers to keep you warm, and non-perishable foods that can easily be opened like granola bars, nuts and soup. Having a fully charged external battery for things like your phone will also come in handy.
At you home, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a good snow shovel and salt ready to go before the first measurable snow.
With falling leaves, it is extra important to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear. You can install leaf guards to help keep out leaves and debris, or safely climb on a latter to make sure that these are clear and that water can flow through freely.
Now is also a good time to check entrance to the outside like windows and doors. Check for any gaps where air could escape and apply weather stripping if needed to keep to cold air out and the warm air in. Double panned windows can also increase efficiency.
Along with checking the gutters to make sure that they are clear, it is also a good idea to make sure that all hoses are detached from the spigot and turned off to prevent freezing, which could eventually lead to a busted pipe.
Ahead of the arrival of snow and brutal cold, now is also the time to repair shingles on your roof and apply a fresh coat of sealer to the deck to prevent it from winter.
Before you get a fire going, it is also important to make sure that your chimney is cleared as well. Any debris that is stuck inside could lead to a fire.
Finally, as you turn on the heat, change the filter and make sure that it is properly installed. If it is not installed correctly carbon monoxide could leak out. Carbon monoxide is an odorless invisible gas that takes the life of 500 people a year. Carbon monoxide detectors can be a life saver for this. It is recommended that they are placed in every level of your home including the basement. Here is a link to how to more information on carbon monoxide detectors: https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/keeping-your-family-safe-the-5-ws-of-carbon-monoxide-detectors.