How to Protect Your Home During Cold Weather

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Home Improvement

We are now in the mist of winter and with it the cold, icy and unpredictable winter weather. This time of year we need to make sure to protect and properly insulate your home from the harsh weather conditions.

Failure to prepare or knowing how to protect your home can cost you a lot of money and do some real damage to your home. Today's Home Owner did a great article on how to protect your home during extreme weather. You can apply these tips to your home today. Read the tips below here:

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
Close garage doors.
Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
Open cabinet doors under sinks.
Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
Set icemaker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room.
Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives.
Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.

How to Stay Safe in an Ice or Snow Storm

Stockpile nonperishable food and water.
Refill prescription medications in advance of storm.
Fill car with gas.
Charge cell phones.
Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and a manual can opener on hand.
A portable generator can come in handy when the lights go out, but take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when using.
Have a working fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
For more home improvement tips and home safety precautions. You can go to the source article here:

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