We’re continuing with a list of tips on winterizing at home and office. It’s that time of year, when the season changes, the temperatures fall, and if we focus a little effort, we can save energy, shrink our carbon footprint and lower costs in the coming months.
6) Check Foundations
• Clear all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
• Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
• Seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as small as a dime. (If you’d like to try it on your own, I found a “how to” link...click here)
• Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
• Change smoke detector batteries when daylight savings ends.
• Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
• Test both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Buy a fire extinguisher or replace any extinguisher older than 10 years.
8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
• Drain all garden hoses. Put them out of reach of the elements.
• Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
• Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
• Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
• If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set at least 55 degrees.
9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces
• Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
• Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
• Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
10) Prepare an Emergency Kit
• Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
• Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
• Keep your freezer as full as possible. If the power goes out, food will stay frozen much longer in a full freezer. Add bottles of water, if necessary. A full fridge and freezer also use less electricity to operate.
• Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
• Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.