Once Daylight Saving time ends, it’s hard to be in denial about it – winter is coming. And with it comes a different set of challenges – cold, dark, rain, mud, and possibly shoveling snow. Sure, we get a break from mowing the lawn, but once the leaves turn, it’s time to rake them. Every season has its chores!
This time of year, it’s best to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us. So, despite our best intentions to procrastinate, there’s no time like the present to cross these items off your to-do list. It’s always better to be prepared, and this won’t take you longer than halftime during a football game. Well, except for cleaning the gutters – that takes a little longer.
- Outdoor hose bibs – Most houses have an exterior hose bib shut off for the hose bib at the corner of the garage. Turn the valve off so it is perpendicular to the line. Next remove the garden hose from the hose bib. Then open the hose bib to drain any remaining water in the line–very little water will come out. Now you are protected from the potential of splitting the hose bib from frozen water expanding inside the hose bib. Leave the hose disconnected, and secure the hose bib with a Styrofoam cover.
- Cover your home’s crawlspace vents with Styrofoam covers to keep the crawlspace warm (but remove them once it warms up again to allow good air circulation). This reduces the chance that any pipes in the crawl space might freeze.
- Protect your home from water damage – Clean your gutters to remove pine needles and debris so your downspouts allow the rainwater to drain freely. It’s likely not the most glamorous thing you’ve ever done, but you’ll be so happy you did.
- Reduce your heating costs – Keep your garage door closed as much as possible
- Trim any tree limbs that could fall during heavy wind or ice storms and damage your property.
- Test and maintain all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect your furnace annually, and clean or replace air filters monthly.
- Wrap any exposed pipes with insulation sleeves.
- Set your programmable thermostat to a comfortable temperature for the hours when you’re at home.
- Relax and enjoy the holidays!