10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for the First Freeze of the Season
Is your home prepared for the first freeze of the winter?
The cold winter months in Texas may not result in 12″ of snow, but you should still prepare your home for the climate change. If anything, use this chance as an opportunity to check up on your home.
Scroll down for a few tips to help protect your home from freezing temperatures.
1. Check the Exterior Walls of Your Home for Holes
Small holes where cables and wires enter your home can allow freezing air in. Use a tube of foam insulation to patch up any holes. Check and replace any damaged weather stripping around your doors.
2. Shut Off the Water to Outside Spigots
Outdoor plumbing is prone to freezing when the temperature drops. Disconnect any garden hoses and insulate the hose bibs using towels or rags.
3. Insulate. Then, Insulate Some More
Inadequate insulation can lead to frozen pipes. Make sure your attic, exterior walls, and any other crawl spaces are well insulated.
4. Set Your Faucets to Drip
If any of your indoor faucets are located on exterior walls that aren’t adequately insulated, set your faucets to a slow drip whenever temperatures dip below freezing. Make sure both the hot and cold lines are opened slightly. In an abundance of caution, open your cabinets to allow your home’s heating system to warm the pipes.
5. Learn How to Shut Off Your Water at the Meter
Know where your water meter is located and keep a meter key or a crescent wrench in a known location in case you need to need to shut off your water at the meter.
6. Keep Your Garage Door Closed
Try to minimize the time your garage is open. This will help keep cold air out and protect your hot water heater and other plumbing that may be located there.
7. Keep Your Gutters Clean
Packed gutters increase the chance of ice forming on your roof. Make sure to clean them out regularly through the season.
8. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Reversing your ceiling fan helps force warm air back down into your living space. There’s generally a small switch on the fan to change directions. This is a great way to save on energy during the winter months.
9. Inspect Fireplaces Before Using Them
Depending on how often your fireplace is used, it should be cleaned and inspected every year or two. Ignoring your fireplace could lead to a chimney or house fire due to creosote build up. Inspections can also reveal any dangerous structural or operational issues with your fireplace.
10. Leaving town?
Be sure to make your own list and run through this checklist. Adjust your thermostat so that your home is kept above freezing and check in with a neighbor to let them know you’ll be away.
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