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Winter Home Preparation Part 2

Winter Home PreparationIn part 1 of this series, we looked at a number of things homeowners can do to get their homes ready for the winter months.

We covered smoke detector maintenance, window and door sealing, cleaning drainage gutters, inspecting the roof and more.

In part 2, we’ll pick up where we left off, with more handy tips for winter home preparation.

Chimney inspection

Thousands of home fires every year originate in chimneys. This is particularly true of chimneys connected to wood-burning fireplaces. Burning wood emits creosote, which adheres to the walls of the flue. Over time it can build up and ignite. Make it a habit to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before the colder months arrive. (A trained inspector will also be on the lookout for animal nests and other debris that often is found in chimneys.)

Ceiling fans

These units are designed to be used all year long, but not with the blades running in the same direction. During the winter, use the switch on the motor part of the fan to reverse the direction of the blades so that they’re twirling clockwise. This creates a draft that sends warm air that has risen back down into the room. Running a ceiling fan in a counter-clockwise motion is good for warmer months because it cools the air in a room.

Air leaks

Want to save significant money on heating bills? Plug up all leaks throughout the house that allow cold air to come inside and warm air to leave. Any openings in the floors, walls or ceiling that have been made for pipes, vents, power lines, etc., may not be well-sealed. Perform a visual inspection throughout the entire house and find out where better seals are needed. Caulking will do the trick in most cases.

Pipes

When it’s freezing outside, what happens to the water in plumbing pipes that are subject to the cold? It can freeze and then expand and then burst the pipes. The simple solution is to wrap the pipes with circular foam padding that you can buy at hardware or home improvement stores. In a bind, you can even use insulation for this job, just make sure you use a strong tape like duct tape to completely secure the insulation.

Wood Burning FIreplaceFire extinguishers

If your home has a fireplace, a working fire extinguisher can mean the difference between the corner of a rug being singed and the entire home being destroyed. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, buy one. And then every year as winter approaches make sure it’s in perfect working order and that everyone in the house knows how to use it.

Emergency kits

Every home and car needs one, and they should include shovels, a strong flashlight, a battery powered radio, non-perishable food, water, a cell phone charger, a fully stocked first aid kit, cash and other items that could be needed in an emergency.

Follow these tips and those in part 1, and you’ll be ready for whatever winter can throw at you.

At the member stores of United Fireplace & Stove, winter is our business. When it comes to choosing the ideal fireplace or stove to accent your home, we’ve got a wide selection of modern styles from top manufacturers. Find a UFS member store in your area today.

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