Winter is coming, and with it, all its attendant issues. While St. Louis doesn’t experience the extreme cold or snowfall accumulations that they experience in the northeast, it is still cold enough that it warrants some preparation.
Getting your home ready for the coming season in advance will help you avoid costly problems like burst pipes and will help you stay warm and cozy all winter long.
Here are our top tips for preparing your St. Louis home for winter:
1. Disconnect Your Garden Hoses
Your garden hoses should be detached immediately and well before an expected frost. Many people tend to forget they have hoses connected, resulting in leaks, burst hoses, and frozen pipes in the house. If you have PVC pipes in your home, freezing could cause them to break, creating a costly and often messy situation.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Get up there on a ladder or call somebody in to have your gutters cleaned in the fall. The best time for this is after the leaves have dropped off. But, depending on the types of trees you have around your home, you may be able to do this sooner rather than later. Best not to wait until a freeze happens as they will be far more difficult to clean.
3. Flip The Blades On Your Ceiling Fans
Flip your ceiling fans the other way as it will push hot air off the ceiling and down into the room. This will help you heat your home more efficiently and could help you save a lot of money.
4. Clean Your Dryer Vent
Clean out your dryer vent and make sure all vents to the outside are open. It is not unusual to find a birds nest in there or something else that will add resistance and block airflow.
5. Have Your Chimney Cleaned And Serviced
If you have a wood burning fireplace, it should be inspected and cleaned each year by a certified chimney sweep. Schedule this as early as possible because there is always a rush as the colder weather begins to hit.
6. Schedule Seasonal HVAC System Service
Call in an HVAC professional to test and check the health of your system. Filters should be replaced and the system should be turned on well in advance of the colder weather to ensure that systems are working well. If you do not have an ongoing maintenance package, you will need to schedule this in advance of their busy season. If you have not already done so, now is definitely the time!
7. Check CO and Smoke Alarms
You need to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in good working order. Test them, replace batteries, and make sure there are no issues with their operation.
We are starting to notice that every municipality now needs to have their smoke alarms interconnected. If your alarms are not already hardwired, they will need to be interconnected in some way. You can purchase an RF (radio frequency) connector so that if one alarm is triggered, the other ones will go off as well.
Even if you are planning a remodel and feel that you might want to get this done while the other work is in progress (or even after), we recommend that you do it now instead of waiting. You simply can’t be safe enough as carbon monoxide is deadly and the situation should not be ignored. For your peace of mind, you can now purchase a 10-year radio frequency combination smoke and CO detector.
8. Seal Windows And Cracks
Inspect the caulking around windows and seal any cracks to prevent cold drafts from invading your space. Poor insulation will cause heat loss if there are gaps and you may see your energy bills go up as a result. Do a top-to-bottom inspection of every window and door in your home and ensure there is no way for old man winter to wrap his cold fingers around you and your family! This will help you save money on your heating bills and keep you in warm comfort all winter long.
The Time For Winter Preparation Is Now!
Even if you aren’t yet feeling the effects of the coming winter season, there is no time to procrastinate. With our busy lives, winter often descends on us before we have a chance to get used to the idea, so plan ahead to ensure you’re not left out in the cold.
Need some help with making your St. Louis home more energy-efficient? Reach out today, we would love to help.