How To Prepare Your Home For Colder Temperatures

Posted by Anna Varnell on Monday, November 14th, 2022 at 12:01pm.

Colder temperatures have officially hit Chattanooga and the North Georgia area. While you may or may not have been prepared since the temperatures have been back and forth, there is no time like the present to prepare your home for the temperature drop. 

Colder weather means higher risks for your home and potentially higher costs. As we are turning on heaters and dealing with freezing temperatures, the risk of fires or water damage increases significantly.  We've put together a list of ways to help you protect your home and wallet throughout the fall and winter seasons. 

1. Cover spigots & drain the hoses 

Now that the temperature has dropped, you won’t be needing much accessible water outside the home. Be sure to cover all of your spigots on the exterior of your property. You can wrap them with any sort of insulation material or swing by your local hardware store and grab a spigot cover for only a few bucks. Taking the time to cover each spigot could save you hundreds of dollars by preventing your pipes from freezing/bursting. You should also be sure to drain the water out of the hoses once you disconnect them from the spigot and store them to prevent any damage.

2. Cover & protect your pipes

In the same sense of covering your spigots, you should also cover your pipes. When water freezes, it expands. For example, if you stick a plastic water bottle in the freezer, you’ll notice the bottle is bigger once it has frozen solid. The same concept applies to your pipes only they can’t quite expand with the water like a plastic bottle can. Covering your pipes will help prevent the water from freezing even when the water outside is frozen. If you need some assistance with this, we recommend calling Metro Plumbing.

3. Check your gutters... again 

We know you’re a responsible homeowner and cleaned the leaves out of your gutters when the fall season began. This is a reminder to not forget to clean out those last few leaves that accumulated in the last week or so. If there are leaves in your gutter during freezing temperatures, they can trap water and debris which can be extremely heavy if frozen. This can cause damage to your gutters as well as to the exterior of your home as it traps moisture up against your house.

4. Seal cracks & weather strip

Doors and windows are prime areas for cold air to enter your home. Inspect around each window and door to make sure they are functioning properly as well as if there are any leaks. If you notice any air coming through, there are numerous products to help fix the leak. Depending on the age of your home, material, and location of the leak, you can use items like sealant, a weather strip, or a window insulation kit to make sure no heat is getting out or cold air is getting in.

5. Check you heaters and fireplaces

The temperature has been fairly warm in Chattanooga until recently which cause us to turn on our heaters and fireplaces somewhat abruptly. While they may have turned on, it’s still important to have everything inspected to ensure safety and proper function. Heaters and fireplaces are obviously important for warmth, but they can also be a safety hazard if not maintained. Winter time can mean a busy season for firefighters as they battle fires inside a home caused by electrical issues, gas leaks, etc. If you need a recommendation for your HVAC, we recommend giving St. John's Heating & Air a call!

6. Insulate your attic

Another way to help keep your home warm and your energy bill down is to make sure your attic is insulated. While your attic should have some sort of insulation, depending on the age of the home or how well it has been maintained, it may need added insulation or to be replaced. Make sure your attic has 12 inches of insulation throughout to help prevent heat loss. This can be done as a DIY project or you can call a professional to help. 

7. Check your handrails & steps

Lastly, be sure to check the handrails and steps outside your home. This one is easy to forget as it doesn’t pertain to heat, but more so safety. Freezing temperatures can cause safety issues along walkways around your home. Be sure to make sure your handrails and banisters are secure. We’d also recommend keeping a bag of sand or ice melts on hand in case the temperature drops over night. You can sprinkle these on exterior steps which help prevent slippery situations. There are also rubber grids, treads, and tapes that you can put on each step if you are looking for a more permanent solution.

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