While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, what can you do to keep the cold at bay? While most of the time we are more focused on keeping the heat out in Central Texas, an early cold snap and sudden frigid temps incline us to think of ways to keep our homes and families (including furry friends!) safe and warm this winter.
As you take stock of your home, here are a few tips and tricks courtesy of the Barfield Home Inspection team:
- Check for drafts. If your exterior doors feel a little drafty at the bottom, place a rolled-up towel at the threshold for a quick fix. It may be time for new weather stripping, which you can install as a quick and easy DIY weekend project! Inspect weather stripping around all doors and windows and repair or replace if necessary. Caulk exterior joints around windows and doors, which will help keep your home weather-tight and lower heating bills.
- Insulate exposed exterior plumbing pipes and hose bibs. A nice foam cover from the local hardware store will work well to protect your pipes from the cold.
- Drip your faucets only when temperatures are going to drop below freezing to avoid waste. Running just a trickle of water will prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Open the cabinets under your sinks so the warm air from the house can help keep the pipes warm enough to prevent freezing.
Note: If you live in an older pier and beam home, your pipes should be wrapped. If not, hire a certified contractor to insulate these pipes in the future and use the faucet dripping technique above to protect your home in the meantime.
- Reverse ceiling fans so the warm air that rises to the ceiling will be pulled back down to the living area.
- Wrap or cover your plants (or bring them inside if possible). A planket is always a nice touch!
- Inspect your fireplace before the first use each season. Use a flashlight to check the flue for any obstructions and make sure your damper is open before you start the fire. Call a certified chimney sweep contractor to clean and evaluate your fireplace if you can see excessive soot. Don’t forget to keep your fire screen or fire doors closed while using the fireplace.
As we continue to spend more time at home, it’s great to take care of the spaces we love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @BarfieldHomeInspection for more home maintenance tips from the company that’s been telling it like it is since 2003. Stay safe, warm, and healthy!