Are you eagerly awaiting the first snowfall of the year? Whether you’re prepared or not, winter is on its way. These tips can help you ensure that your New Jersey home is ready for snow, sleet, hail and wind.
Service Your Furnace
If you didn’t schedule a service call during the fall, now’s the time to do it. Although your furnace or boiler is designed to be the workhorse of your home, parts can break or filters can become clogged, no matter what the age of the unit. Unfortunately, furnace malfunctions often seem to happen on long weekends or during the coldest days of your year when a service call can involve a long wait or surcharge.
Inventory Winter Necessities
Make sure these necessities are available and in good working condition:
- Shovels: Do you have enough shovels and are they in good repair? Replace shovels that have become warped or have broken handles. Do you have a shovel for your car? A folding snow shovel can make it much easier to dig yourself out of your parking space if it happens to snow when you’re at work.
- Ice Melt or Sand: Keep ice melt or sand on hand to prevent slips and falls on icy walks or stairs. If you have pets, look for pet-safe de-icers that won’t irritate your furry friend’s pads.
- Snow Blowers: Test your snow blower long before the first flake of snow falls. Change the oil and gas and replace or repair worn parts to ensure that the machine will work when you need it.
- Gloves, Hats and Boots: Gloves and hats tend to disappear almost as easily as socks in many homes. Keeping your hands and head warm is particularly important whether you’re on snow removal duty or building a snowman with the kids. Check your boots too and make sure that there aren’t any holes and the soles are firmly attached.
- Flashlights and Batteries: Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a power outage this winter. Just in case, it’s a good idea to make sure that your flashlights work, and you have an ample supply of batteries. Keep a few battery-operated lights on every level of your home in case you experience an outage. Although candles are more atmospheric, they can be easily knocked over and start a fire.
Make Sure Your Carbon Monoxide Monitors Are Working
Approximately 50,000 people visit emergency rooms every year due to carbon monoxide exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that there’s a problem, you may not be able to escape your home on your own.
Carbon monoxide monitors do break and wear out. Test yours regularly during heating season and be aware of these signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Chest Pain
- Vomiting or Nausea
- Shortness of Breath
- Blurred Vision
Winter snowstorms can loosen shingles, trim and caulk and cause ice dams in your gutters. Any of these issues allows water to enter your home and damage walls, ceilings, floors and your furniture and belongings. Periodic inspections of the exterior of your home will help you spot and repair problems before they can cause significant damage. Inspections are particularly important after a major winter snow, hail or windstorm.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Take advantage of ceiling fans to keep your home warm and toasty. When the blades are set to rotate in a clockwise pattern, the fan will push warm air downward instead of letting it rise.
Take Advantage of Technology to Monitor Your Home
Do you worry about your home when you’re away? Whether you’re just at the mall or on vacation, smart home technology can provide you with alerts and real-time footage of your home. Sensors can detect if there’s water on the floor due to a burst pipe or alert you that your furnace isn’t operating efficiently if you have a high-end smart furnace. Smart thermostats allow you to raise or lower the temperature in your home remotely and can even learn your temperature preferences.
Do you live in a drafty old house that’s just not built for winter? Move up to a brand new, luxury home at Country Classics at Hillsborough. Although the community is now in its final phase, you’ll still find premier home sites left. The four-bedroom homes feature 2.5 bathrooms, large kitchens and family rooms, dramatic two story foyers, side-entry garages and spacious master bedroom suites. Contact us to schedule your tour.
Business Insider: This Might Be the Best Snow Shovel Ever Made Since It’s Collapsible and Essentially Indestructible
Bob Vila: How to Maintain a Snow Blower for Peak Performance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention