Now that the worst of the cold weather is almost here, it is time to prepare your home for the harsh conditions. Implementing home safety precautions in freezing weather will not take too much time and it could save you lots of heartache down the road. Kentucky's winter weather is notoriously unpredictable so do not try to coast on without making any preparations.
Head up on the ladder before the worst of winter hits so that you can take care of those extended tree branches that hang from dead trees. By clipping dead and extraordinarily long tree branches, you will prevent them from falling onto your car or home during wind and ice storms.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Be sure to install at least one carbon monoxide detectorin your home. This is especially important for homeowners with fireplaces and those who use gas heat. Even homeowners who warm their cars in the garage before heading on out to work or elsewhere should exercise caution. If you keep your garage door closed while your vehicle is running, you could be fatally poisoned by the exhaust fumes. Always pull your car out of the garage to warm.
Winter Pipe Care
Your pipes are quite vulnerable during the winter. Be sure to wrap them with heating tape for extra protection. If you have unfinished rooms like a sun room or a garage with exposed pipes, insulate these spaces as best as you can. Also, examine your pipes for leaks and cracks at the start of every winter. If you detect any damage, have it repaired right away so that you do not have to deal with frozen or broken pipes. That is not the type of problem that you want to be faced with when it is 30 degrees outside with brutal winds.
Always keep your home at least 65 degrees so that it is warm enough to protect your pipes against freezing. Ideally, you will keep your home's thermostat set to one temperature during both the day and the night. A constant temperature will prevent an expensive repair job that results from pipes that have frozen and burst due to low temperatures.
You should also open up your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors so that warm air is allowed to circulate around the plumbing in these spaces too often neglected spaces. They are extraordinarily vulnerable compared to the other parts of the home that receive ample air flow. If it gets really cold out, let some cold water drip from your faucets, especially if they are served by exposed pipes. This drip will help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Do not automatically assume that your heating system will work. It should be serviced at least once per year by a professional HVAC technician. You should also perform maintenance on your fireplace and water heater. Remember to change your heating filter on a regular basis to ensure that your system is operating efficiently and emitting clean air.
Manage Your Space Wisely
If there are areas of your home that are not regularly used, close them off. The sections of your home that do not require heating should always stay confined during the winter. If your garage contains water supply lines, keep the garage door(s) closed for additional protection. If you plan on taking a vacation during the winter, do not turn off the heat in your home! Keep it on to prevent your pipes from freezing. A constant flow of warm air will also help to prevent compromises in the home's foundation. Always keep an empty home's furnace set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.