It’s time to finally come to terms with the impending cold that is on its way. While the winters here in the Deep South aren’t as harsh as most, there are still threats of damage to your home.

Many of these mishaps can be avoided with some preventative action. Here are 10 ways you can prepare your home for a worry-free winter.

  1. Find the heat vents in your home. In some older homes, these vents are in the ground, but most heat vents will be in the ceiling. Ensure that no furniture or other items are blocking your heat vents.
  2. Inspect your roof. Missing shingles or gaps in sealing allow harsh weather and moisture to sneak into your home.
  3. Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors. Inadequate weather stripping will cause an increase in utility bills and a much less cozy home for your family.
  4. Clean out your gutters. Leaves and branches trapped in the gutters will hold moisture. During a cold night this moisture can freeze and lead further blockage, which can become heavy enough to pull the gutters off the house.
  5. Switch your fans to the reverse, clockwise position. In this setting, the fans blow warm air down to the floor and make the heating process more efficient and effective.
  6. Keep a trickle of water flowing through the faucets in your home to prevent freezing and pipe bursting on particularly cold days.
  7. Wrap your pipes and units in insulation sleeves. If you believe your pipes and systems are at risk of over-exposure to cold, wrap them in insulation sleeves for protection.
  8. Mow your leaves instead of raking them. A study at the University of Michigan and Purdue advises cutting the leaves while their dry so that they blend in to the grass and eventually decompose, providing nourishment for your yard over the winter.
  9. Have your chimney inspected. Call in a chimney sweep and have them inspect to make sure your chimney is in working order. A chimney in poor repair can lead to house fires or carbon monoxide leaks. Nobody wants that.
  10. Turn off exterior faucets and store your hose inside for the winter. You may also need to turn off the shut-off valve inside of your home if you do not have frost-proof faucets.

Preparing your home for the winter will provide you with more efficient, effective and affordable utilities as well as a more comfortable home in the colder months.

These steps will also help you avoid costly accidents and damage to your home. We hope you and your family enjoy a comfortable and cozy home this winter.