4 Nov
2013

Winter Season Home Preparation Tips

Posted by Norman F

winter, snow on the road

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.

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.

Posted on November 4th, 2013
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2 Responses to “Winter Season Home Preparation Tips”

  1. Home Power Saver Says:

    Good tips – especially the carbon monoxide detector. That is easily overlooked and saves lives every year! Along those lines have your furnace checked by a professional every year – a small crack or other common problems can lead to carbon monoxide build-up.

  2. Steve Says:

    The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any air leaks, and one that is often overlooked is the bathroom ventilation fan and exhaust vent. The back-draft flap these units come with do a very poor job of stopping leaks. To address this issue, I use a replacement insert fan from the Larson Fan Company (online). Their fans has a true damper built in, that does a great job in keeping warm air in during the winter and hot, humid air out in the summer. This product has reduced my annual energy bills by over ten percent. It saves the most when air conditioning is being used.

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