While winter is technically still a few weeks away, the shorter days, colder nights and some early onsets of snow have officially arrived here in McCall, Idaho. In preparation for another frosty season, it’s important to make sure mountain homes are winter ready.
Follow these simple tips to protect your home from the elements and stay cozy all season long:
Earth: Move your potted plants indoors and begin planting spring bulbs that thrive even during the frigid months ahead. Ensure the plants and trees in your yard are breeds that can make it through extreme temperatures; if not, then take additional steps to protect them. A proper kept yard is important not only for the health of the landscape but also for the safety of you and your family. Tree branches that hang too closely to your home and electrical wires should be trimmed back to avoid becoming a hazard when snow and ice begin weighing them down. Also remember to clean out gutters and downspouts where leaves and debris can build up and freeze, causing them to detach from your home.
Air: Drafts can enter from a variety of locations, including windows and doors. If needed, add a door sweep or weather strip to fill the gaps. For leaky windows, it might be a good idea to switch out summer screens for storm windows and install window insulator kits.
Water: The winter can wreak havoc on your pipes, especially if they aren’t well insulated. Cold air can freeze the pipes, causing them to burst and flood your home. To prevent this, wrap the pipes in foam rubber sleeves and heating tape, which you can find at your local hardware store. Also make sure to drain your garden hoses, air conditioner pipes and other lines, which can cause internal pipe bursts when turned on. In addition, keep your AC water valve and the water valve to your house off when you are not occupying the home.
Fire: Winter is a dangerous time for your home, because dirt buildup and gas leaks can create fire hazards when the heat is turned on. It’s always a good idea to hire an HVAC professional to inspect and clean your furnace before each winter, as well as check your ducts for joint leaks. Make sure you stock up on furnace filters, change them monthly and move any flammable items away from your heating system. Also, consider using a programmable thermostat to keep energy costs down.
Click here for more winter home protection tips.