How to Best Winterize Your Home

Periods of extreme cold can also create unexpected emergency situations within your home of comfort. Unchecked fireplaces, wood stoves, electric heaters, and old furnaces can be dangerous to you and your family. To keep your home comfortable, careful planning is required. Aside from purchasing life insurance, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure the safety of your family and pets.

Windows, doors, garage door, plumbing, and roof:

  • According to the US Department of Energy, 10% of a home’s air leaks out the windows.
  • Check your windows for cracks and damage by washing them.
  • Caulk and use weatherstripping around your windows.
  • Storm windows should be put in place of older windows.
  • Polyurethane sprays can be used to refinish old steel garage doors.
  • Insulation should be installed in garages.
  • Roofs should be checked on a regular basis for missing shingles and other signs of damage.
  • If pipes are exposed to cold temperatures, they should be insulated.

Furnace:

Have a professional inspect your furnace once a year to ensure it is in good working order.

  • A carbon monoxide detector, as well as all smoke alarms, should be installed or checked.
  • At least once a month, change or clean the furnace filters. Filters increase airflow and heat efficiency.
  • Never heat your home with an oven.

Wood stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters:

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 66,000 house fires in the United States occurred in 2008 as a result of electric heat sources.

  • Space heaters are the most common cause of fires because they are usually too close to flammable materials like curtains or bedding.
  • When leaving a room, always turn them off.
  • Every year, have a chimney specialist inspect the flue.
  • Install a screen around the fireplace to keep children safe, or make sure all doors are shut.
  • Check the gas fireplace switch and report any unusual odors.

Equipment for snow and ice:

  • Sodium chloride is the best de-icer to use because rock salt does not work well in temperatures below 25 degrees.
  • Calcium magnesium acetate is non-toxic and less corrosive than salt.
  • Some people use nitrogen fertilizer instead of salt, which is less damaging to the concrete and cars.
  • Snow can also be melted using rubber heat conducting mats and ground thaw blanket heaters.
  • Roof rakes with extension handles are available for easy snow removal.
  • Check the gas levels and efficiency of the snow blower.

Winter blizzards and cold weather can provide opportunities for families to spend time together at home, snuggled in front of the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate. Homes that are not prepared for inclement weather, on the other hand, can become a disaster, endangering the lives of those who live inside. All families, especially during this time of year, should keep emergency kits and life insurance policies up to date.

Please contact your insurance specialist for more information as life insurance policies are currently at an all-time low.

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