5 Steps to Get Your Home Winter Ready

Posted by Bartlett Real Estate Group on Friday, December 11th, 2020 at 7:30am.

If you’ve lived in Texas for at least one winter season, you know the weather can be quite unpredictable. One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next it’s nearing freezing temperatures and there’s a chance of snow. Luckily, Texas winters can be mild for the most part but those intense bouts of cold and ice can do a number on your home if you’re not properly prepared! As we head into the colder months, we wanted to share some pointers to keep your home in tip-top shape…

  1. Inspect your home’s heating and AC system.
     According to HVAC professionals, getting your system inspected before the drastic temperature changes happen can alleviate potential problems down the line and in turn save you a lot of money. Ensuring that your furnace is functioning properly will mean it’s running faster, smoother, and with less effort. This in turn, will bring your energy bill down. There is also less risk of a breakdown if you go into the winter season knowing that your HVAC system is running with 100 percent efficiency. Again, preventing possible out of pocket costs for needed repairs somewhere down the line. Lastly, it will prolong the life of your furnace, saving you the headache of having to replace it after only a few years. 

  1. Do a quick energy audit to ensure there are no leaks in any windows or door seals.
     A good way to do this is by holding a candle in front of any doors or windows on a windy day. If there are any leaks in the seal, the wind entering from outside will waver the flame. If you do discover that you have a leak, you can install foam or weatherstripping inside the frame. 

  1. Make sure your safety detectors are working.
     In the winter, we use our fireplaces and heating systems more, creating a higher risk of fire or carbon monoxide exposures. According to the CDC, “Carbon monoxide exposures and poisonings occur more often during the fall and winter, when people are more likely to use gas furnaces and heaters”1. To alleviate this risk , they suggest having a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you if levels are unsafe. In addition, house fires are more likely to occur in the winter months. The National Fire Protection Association notes that “heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months”2. So keep the decorations and candles going, but be sure you have your safety systems functioning! 

  1. Check your chimney.
     Before you light up a cozy fire, be sure your chimney is functioning properly!  A chimney sweep company can come out and inspect your fireplace to be sure it’s ready to go for the season. When the fireplace is not in use, be sure to shut the flute to prevent any heat you have turned on from escaping your house.

  1. Keep your attic free from furry friends.
     When the seasons start to change and colder temperatures hit, there’s a chance that nature’s furry friends will want to seek shelter in your attic. To help prevent a welcoming invitation, be sure your tree branches are trimmed far enough away from the roof and make sure your gable vents are intact. For extra protection, you can always install a screen behind the gable vent. Also, be sure that your soffit and facia (basically the exterior surrounding of the roof) do not have holes in them. Any kind of hole in this area would be a welcoming invitation for a bird to nestle up in your attic space. 




Sources: 
1https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/spotlights/cospotlight.htm#:~:text=ATLANTA%20%E2%80%94%20Carbon%20monoxide%20(CO),Control%20and%20Prevention%20(CDC).


2https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires#:~:text=Heating%2C%20holiday%20decorations%2C%20winter%20storms,carbon%20monoxide%20and%20electrical%20fires.
 

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