Ready or not, winter is coming!
While we may have enjoyed a milder start to winter than usual, there is no doubt that with the recent snow, winter is now on our doorstep – and now is the time to prepare your home for the colder weather.
Let’s start outside
Turn off exterior taps
If you can turn the water off from inside, you can then drain the line to the tap which is often outside and can freeze. Hoses should be disconnected, drained, and stored loosely coiled without any kinks.
Put away outdoor items
Removing items where snow will build up (and subsequently, water when it melts) around the foundations of your home will save you hassles in the spring. Even covering them will improve the lifespan of high use items, like outdoor furniture.
Clean out your gutters
Removing debris and leaves will help water to easily flow down and away from your home and won’t pool on and around your home.
Protect & clear air intakes
Ensure your air conditioning units and ducting are clean and free of debris. Check pipe insulation for any gaps, and ensure you clear away snow from the unit as needed.
No dog poo!
While you’re at it – cleaning up your lawn is key. No-one wants to step in a mix of melting soggy poo – plus it will damage your lawn.
Water pooling on walkways
Check any paved, concreted, or other hard surfaces for cracks or low spots where water won’t drain away – these become a slip hazard when they freeze!
Now let’s head inside
Change your furnace filters
Keeping furnace filters clear of debris and other buildup reduces energy use and improves the air quality – important when you’re inside more often.
Reverse your ceiling fans
Did you know many built in fans have a reverse mode to push down the warm air and circulate it through the room?
No more gaps!
Drafts caused by gaps and cracks in windows and doors are the quickest way to lose warmth and run up that heating bill – you can use the smoke from incense to identify problem areas.
Check for water leaks
Inspect caulking around sinks, tubs and countertops – and check your bathrooms for slow toilet and shower leaks.
Clean air filters and vents
Staying inside often with windows and doors closed means air doesn’t circulate as freely. Cleaning any filters (including extraction fans in the kitchen) will help remove harmful pollutants from the air.
Prepare your plants
Generally, plants will need more light but less water – but if you move them closer to a window for light, you should keep them at least a foot away from any cold surface. With the lower humidity, many plants may appreciate a little spritz of water on the leaves.