Dec 05, 2018|

Simple Ways to Prepare Your House for Winter

The winter months can be harsh. Brutal, even. If you're like most people who live in colder climates, your winter preparation probably includes pulling coats and boots out of storage or swapping out light blankets for down comforters in order to stay warm through the winter months.

Preparing for winter involves more than just blankets and warmer clothes. Winter house prep should also include taking care of your physical home. Neglecting your house can lead to winter-related issues like frozen pipes or sky-high heating costs from drafts.

Knowing how to winterize a house can help make sure your home is functioning in tiptop shape all winter long. Here are a few ideas for pre-winter house maintenance:

Clean gutters and keep them free from debris

Cleaning out your gutters is another important part of prepping your home for the upcoming winter months. When gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris that has gathered throughout the year, water won't properly be directed away from your house. This clogging can lead to damage to your home and even potential flooding. A little gutter cleaning now can help you avoid expensive gutter repair in the future.

Wondering exactly how to clean gutters? It’s pretty simple. Clean out leaves and other debris to help prepare your home for the winter months, and check for leaks and any other structural issues. In addition to cleaning gutters, you should also point spouts to direct water flow at least 10 feet from your home to prevent freezing water, which could lead to foundation problems down the road.

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Test your carbon monoxide detectors

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is real. What is carbon monoxide? It’s a gas known as the “silent killer.” Since it's created by gas furnaces, propane stoves, grills, and portable generators, the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning is highest in winter months when people are most likely to be operating fuel-burning appliances. Wondering how to test for carbon monoxide levels? To prepare your house for winter, it’s critical to get a carbon monoxide detector.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, get one. A Vivint CO detector uses electrochemical sensors to ensure fast, accurate carbon monoxide detection, so you can get to safety immediately. And with our professional monitoring service, you'll be alerted to carbon monoxide threats whether you're at home or on the go.

Vivint CO detector
A Vivint CO Detector with professional monitoring will keep your family safe all year long.
 

If you already have a carbon monoxide detector, make sure you test it and replace the batteries each year to ensure it is working properly.

Utilize energy saving tips for winter

Higher heating bills are usually a given in the winter, but you don't have to freeze in order to save money. The key to energy efficiency and limiting energy consumption is installing a new smart thermostat.

smart thermostat keeps you warm and helps cut your energy costs by automatically adjusting your temperature based on your personal preferences. It’s why we recommend one if you’re looking for home tips for saving money.

Vivint smart thermostat
Stay warm throughout the winter with the Vivint Smart Thermostat.
 

Install weatherstripping to cut drafts

Let’s talk about preparing your house for winter weather and chilly breezes. A drafty house does more than make your home uncomfortably chilly; it also drives up your heating costs.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can cut winter heating costs up to 20% just by locating and plugging drafts inside your home.

The best time to do this is before it gets cold enough to make a difference in your heating bill.

Some of the most common spots for drafts include around windows and doors, attics, electrical outlets, and ceiling light fixtures. Once you locate any air leaks, you can install weatherstripping around doors and windows or insulation to help keep drafts out.

Protect your outdoor furniture and decorations

Make sure you'll be able to enjoy your outdoor furniture next year by taking care of it during the winter. Cover any backyard furniture you have, or store it in the garage or shed to protect it from the elements. You can usually find waterproof patio furniture covers online.

If you have a gas grill that uses a propane tank, make sure you close the valve and disconnect the tank before storing it in the garage.

Potted or container plants should also be brought inside before the first freeze to keep them healthy during colder temperatures.

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Take advantage of smart home technology

A smart home has features that can help you prepare for the winter months. Take a look:

  • Schedule your outdoor lighting. One of the telltale signs that winter is upon us is fewer daylight hours. Use your smart lighting to schedule your porch lights and other outdoor lighting to turn on earlier in the evening. It’s easy to control your outdoor lights with the Vivint app. You should also check your outdoor light fixtures to ensure they’re in good working order before the cold winter months arrive.
  • Check the weather before you get out of bed. The weatherman isn't always accurate, but your outdoor cameras are. Put your weatherproof Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro to good use by checking the weather from your smartphone in the morning. Did it snow? Then you know to get up early and start shoveling. If it didn't snow, then you can take advantage of a few extra minutes of sleep.
  • Prevent flood damage. As moisture freezes, thaws, and freezes again, it sets the perfect conditions for potential flooding. A water leak detector in parts of your home susceptible to flooding can alert you to potential problems before they become disasters. Water leak detection could save you from a major financial headache. It’s a simple way to prepare your home for winter that could save you a lot of stress.
Vivint flood sensor
Prevent flood damage during the winter with a water sensor from Vivint.
 

Install a smart home security system today

A little preparation goes a long way to keep your home running smoothly during the cold weather months. With these tips, and some help from your smart home, you can keep your home cozy and safe from the inside out all winter long.

Give us a call at 855.822.1220 for a free quote on a customized smart home security package just for you.

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