Simple Ways to Prepare
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good time to run through a quick winter checklist for your house. If you live in a newer home, you may not need to replace caulking or weather stripping around windows and doors, but it’s worth checking if you feel that a room is colder than it should be. Here are some other simple ways to be ready for bad weather.
Winter Tool Checklist
Make sure the snow blower, snow shovel and broom are in a convenient spot to deal with snowfall, especially significant accumulation that greets you first thing in the morning. If your sidewalks, driveway, steps or other surfaces are concrete, research and stockpile a deicer that’s safe to use without causing the concrete to pit or crumble.
Tuck in the Garden
If the ground hasn’t frozen, add some extra mulch around shrubs and other landscape plantings that might need root protection to remain viable until spring. If you have deer in your neighborhood, you might also want to wrap or cover shrubs and young trees that offer deer a food source in the dead of winter.
Protect the Pipes
Now is the time to winterize any plumbing inside or outside your house that is susceptible to freezing. Indoor pipes can be wrapped or heated with plug-in cables, as needed, and outdoor hoses should be removed to prevent pipes connected to outdoor faucets from bursting. If you have a sump pump that runs all year, periodically check the discharge pipe to make sure it’s free of leaves and snow.
To keep your indoor heating system running as efficiently as possible, change your furnace filter and open all of your home’s cold air returns.
Taking just a few minutes to prepare for the cold can really add to both your family’s comfort and your home’s energy efficiency.