With a long winter ahead, there’s still time to winter proof your home

Posted by Admin . on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 at 4:05pm.

While the first Colorado snow – or snows – of the season have come and gone, it’s not too late to prepare your home for the bulk of winter storms yet to come.

Here are a few tips from About.com on making sure your home can withstand the remainder of the winter:

Furnace preparations and ongoing upkeep

    • Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts;
    • Change furnace filters monthly;
    • Switch out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat;
    • Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

Inspect the exterior, doors and windows

    • Inspect house exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes and seal them;
    • Use weather stripping around doors and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house;
    • Consider protecting basement window wells by covering them with plastic shields;
    • Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage or install storm windows.

Check the foundation

    • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation;
    • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house;
    • Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks (mice can slip through space as thin as a dime);
    • Secure crawlspace entrances.

Install, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

    • Some cities require a smoke detector in every room;
    • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/or water heater;
    • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work;
    • Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

Prevent frozen pipes

    • Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency;
    • Drain all garden hoses;
    • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes;
    • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

Prepare for an emergency

    • Buy indoor candles and matches/lighter for use during a power shortage;
    • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book;
    • Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment;
    • Store extra bottled water and nonperishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit  in a dry and easy-to-access location;
    • Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.

For the complete list of home-winterization tips, visit http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/qt/92607_WinterHom.htm.

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