Preparing the Home for a Cold Virginia Winter

As autumn’s days grow shorter, winter can be felt creeping in on the cold winds as they whip the changing leaves from the trees. With only a few weeks’ warning, winter will soon bring about freezing nights and snowy mornings. It is vital to prepare the home and family for the cold winter weather in order to prevent damage to the home during the coldest of nights.

Testing Central Heat
Most modern homes have central heat, as it is the most efficient way to heat a house. The central heat should be tested and operated for a few hours in order to ensure that it is operating correctly. Watch for burning smells, a weak air flow, or cool air. This should be done a few weeks before the heat is needed, so that it can be repaired in a timely manner if there are any issues.

Inspecting and Cleaning the Chimney
For homes that do not have central heat or homes that utilize a fireplace as a second heat source, it is important to inspect and clean the chimney every year. A chimney inspection Virginia will give the homeowner a professional’s opinion, especially when dealing with an old or problematic fireplace. An unsafe chimney should be repaired before use. Cleaning the chimney reduces the risk of a house fire, and it allows smoke to exit the home. A dirty chimney may cause smoke to fill the living area.

Gathering Firewood
If a fireplace is used, firewood should be gathered well before the cold months. Firewood can be very expensive in the middle of winter, so it is far better to have too much rather than too little. If logs are to be split by hand, the chore is much easier if it is spread along the summer months. Cutting firewood can be extremely physically exhausting.

Inspecting & Replacing Water Line Insulation
Since water lines are vulnerable in cold weather, all insulation should be inspected for damage and replaced as necessary. Some people use heating tape as well, especially for exposed water lines. Frozen pipes can cause an immense amount of damage.

Sealing Windows to Lock In Heat
Seal windows with thick plastic sheeting to preserve heat. Old windows are one of the worst offenders when it comes to losing heat. For the older windows, use thicker plastic sheeting. The plastic alone can save hundreds of dollars on winter heating costs.

Keeping a warm home can be tricky during the winter, especially when cold blasts threaten to freeze water lines and reduce the efficiency of your heating systems. It is much easier to prevent problems before they begin, especially when temperatures are below freezing outside.

 

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