Tips to Winterize Your Home

I am about to enter into my first winter in North Carolina, and I’m not going to lie; I am pretty excited. I’m excited for the fact that I don’t have to shovel snow every time I want to leave the driveway. I’m excited also that I hopefully will not be facing months of bitter cold, freeze your nose off blustery weather. I lived the first 35 years of my life in Michigan, so for those of you living in the more wintery states in our nation; I sympathize with you.

For most of my life and certainly for the last 13 years I have lived in a relatively old house; a house without fancy double or triple paned glass windows, extra thick insulation and a super energy efficient furnace. So to help make it ends meet there was a list of chores I routinely checked off to prepare for winter.

1. Seal the drafty windows. Cold air blowing through the cracks around your windows can suck the heat out of your home faster than your teenager can come up with an excuse for being late. I always used a window insulator kit by 3M. It consists of a plastic sheet you completely cover and seal over your windows. After you blow dry for several seconds it shrinks to form a tight, mostly transparent draft shield for you windows. Voila, no more draft.

2. Remove and drain all of your garden hoses, sprinklers and pool pumps. When water freezes it expands. And when that happens inside these things it can and will break them. My pool filter had a winterize setting on the top which allowed me to empty the pot of water. Then I removed and stored all of the hoses and drained the pool below the hose connections.

3. You should always keep a bag of salt or ice melt and a snow shovel easily accessible to the entryway. It is much more convenient to be able to scoop a cupful of salt at the door and throw it on the sidewalk than to have to go and look for the salt every time it snows or ices.

4. Plan ahead for snow removal. You should be in contact now with someone with a snowplow that you can contact. Having that contact can give you an advantage when everyone else in the neighborhood is trying to find someone to dig them out.

5. Schedule and HVAC tune-up. This is the time of year that HVAC companies offer tune-up specials to make sure your furnace is in its best shape. Take advantage to help avoid potential problems.

As for me, I am going to try to enjoy the mild winters here. If you live in the North, good luck and try to stay warm!

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