Winter Prep Saves Money

We have had an early taste of frigid wintry weather, including substantial snow in some areas. It’s a taste of the season to come when we spend more time indoors and a reminder that there are things we can do to winter-proof our homes.

thermostatAt writer Mikey Rox offers his tips to get through the winter happier and healthier. First on his list: Acclimate to the temperature by setting thermostats down, not up. Gradually lowering the thermostat, by a degree a week to a point where you still feel comfortable, can save bundles of money. Sealing or wrapping windows can add to the effect.

Uninvite the Pests

Pests hate winter, so seal areas of the home where pests can enter. Closing up cracks on the outside can prevent rodents from entering, and storing firewood at least 20 feet from the house will help keep mice and ants away.

Before snow sets in, clearing vents and chimneys can avoid carbon monoxide backups. Leaves, vines, shrubs, and plants can all create blockages that can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home.

Rox also suggests winterizing pipes to keep them from freezing and possibly bursting. This includes sprinkler systems, exterior pipes, and air conditioners.

Be Prepared for the Storm

snowshovelDon’t forget about the supplies needed to take care of the outside of your home either. Make sure you have rakes, shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk salt and other winter cleanup items that you’ll need to keep everybody safe who will step on to your property before, during and after a winter-weather event.

Check or install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Both fire and carbon monoxide can be deadly and silent. Manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every five years.

Act Now to Stay Well

flushotGive your body the best chance of avoiding, or at least fighting, the flu by getting a flu shot.

It also makes sense to keep a first-aid kit in your car at all times, and in winter add hand warmers, flares, heavy blankets, an emergency phone and a few days’ non-perishable food and water in the event that you’re ever stranded. These items literally could be the difference between life and death.