Winter is the time of the year to help protect the value of your home and save energy by making several adjustments. Now is not the time to remodel or repaint your home, but a time to fine tune the operation of your home. You’re basically dialing in any changes you may for Fall, and should move major fixes to springtime.
In October/November when the daylight savings time change occurs, it is time to work on your Smoke Detectors – Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
Carbon Monoxide Detector – Smoke Alarms
Carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed within California single-family homes by July 1, 2011. 35 states have similar laws.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a odorless and invisible but can poison you quickly. Homes needed to be guarded against this deadly gas. CO can leak from fuel burning appliances, wood stoves, cars, fireplaces, leaking chimneys, heaters, etc. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common during the winter season, when heaters are in use. Carbon Monoxide detectors must be installed outside every bedroom, on every level, and in basements.
Carbon Monoxide alarms should not be placed in garages, kitchens, too close to fuel-burning appliances, or very humid rooms.
Carbon Monoxide detectors have gotten more advanced. New models like this Kidde unit have a digital display showing level of carbon monoxide the unit is sensing. Peak level memory displays the highest CO concentration measured since the last reset. This information is useful to rescue personnel treating victims. Advanced Carbon Monoxide detectors may have end-of-life warning alerts, digital displays, special lights for the hearing-impaired, or maybe interconnected throughout the whole house.
Smoke Alarms should have a combination of both ionization and photoelectric sensors. Ionization alarms alone are too easily triggered with steam from showers for smoke from a stove. These combo units do not cost much more. Nearly 3,000 people die in home fires. A working smoke alarm can help lower this number.
Smoke Detector Battery change schedule
Be sure to change the battery whenever daylight savings time rolls around. Use a fresh set of batteries when you change them out. There have been far too many fires where batteries in smoke detectors were dead. This is unnecessary and results in a tragic ending. Almost 20% of American homes have at least 1 smoke alarm that does not work.
We like the new 10 year life Smoke alarms with built in Lithium batteries. No need to change batteries or wake to chirping sounds.
Savings on Heating Bill
The number one concern during winter is usually your heating bill. With temperatures plunging, we need to do everything we can to maintain their comfort and lower your bills.
- Install or adjust your programmable thermostat
- Turn off your sprinkler system
- Caulk and Seal air leaks
- Fix fireplace air leaks
- Replace leaky ductwork
- Insulate your home
- Buy window treatments or curtains
- Clean your furnace filter
- Buying an energy-efficient furnace
Winter Home Safety
Home Safety is another concern for the winter season. With heaters running, trees all lit up, and lots of indoor time, it is important we check on your safety equipment.
- Make sure you have flashlights, the generator if necessary, battery-powered radio ready
- Change the battery in your smoke detector
- Install a carbon monoxide detector
- Check or buy fire extinguishers
- Insulate any external pipes to protect against freezing
- Verify your supply of emergency necessities including food, water, batteries, flashlights
- Update any insurance or flood coverage
Weather is capable of testing our homes in many different ways. Winter is the time to recheck your house for problems.
- Check your sump pump
- Install storm windows or doors
- Check and clean gutters again
- Check and clean chimney if necessary
- Check your roof and patch or replace any damaged areas
- Check your foundation and ensure that drainage is working
Pests also do not like the cold of winter. Finding eco-friendly green ways to eliminate pests is challenging, but can be done.
With a few hours of effort, you can help improve the comfort and safety of your home, while saving money and going green.