Check out these important winter weather preparation tips to stay warm this winter
Now that we’ve said goodbye to the festivities for another year, it’s time to get back on track with the mundane chores around the house, including winter weather preparation. If you’re like me, you probably had to bump a few things down on the to-do list during the busy holiday season. (We hope you had a great one.) This probably included some of the usual winter weather preparation.
Just as in the hottest parts of summer, it’s important to keep tabs on the electrical systems that keep your home at a comfortable temperature during winter. This will not only keep your house warm, it will allow these systems to do so more easily. Machines that don’t work as hard don’t break down as quickly, saving you money in future repairs. You’ll also spend less on your electric or gas bills, as you’ll get the most out of the warm air being generated.
A far less nerve-wracking part of winter weather preparation is checking the ducts which move air from the heating unit to the rest of your home. Check the air filters to make sure they are relatively free of dust build-up. You should clean or replace those that are dirty. You should also check the air ducts and any insulation around them for leaks. There are a few ways to seal these, but metal tape may be the fastest. Duct tape is an option but is not recommended as it is not as long-lasting.
Space heaters are also out in force during January. Although you may often hear it, it’s worth repeating: keep heaters away from flammable materials such as curtains, cloth furniture, paper, plants, etc. If these items get too hot, they can catch fire. Never leave a space heater unattended for long periods of time.
You should also keep an eye on your space heaters’ electrical cords. If any part seems damaged, discontinue using the unit immediately. Only begin again when the problem is repaired or the heater has been replaced. Familiarize yourself with each heater’s thermostat and emergency stop devices. (Many heaters have both.)
The electrical outlet is also an important part of safely using space heaters. Keep the number of connectors and taps on a single socket to a minimum to avoid overloads. Using heaters with grounded wires (the ones with three prongs rather than two) is also recommended if you have the appropriate outlets. Space heaters should always be plugged directly into an outlet or, if an extension cord is required, use one that is either marked for use with appliances or that is rated for 1500 watts. Using low-quality power strips or extension cords can lead to extensive damage to the outlet, cord, power strip, or the heater. These are major fire hazards! If you notice damage to the sockets, avoid using them. If you have an accident like this and would like help with repairs, call us at 678-362-2881.
Although it doesn’t happen every year, we can all probably remember times when snow or ice has knocked down power lines, causing disruptions in electrical service. Since we never know when inclement weather may strike, it’s a good idea to plan for a few days without power in your winter weather preparation. This is especially if you don’t have a generator. To do so, you may wish to stock up on the following:
- lighting including candles, matches, flashlights, and fresh batteries
- foods with long shelf lives that don’t need to be refrigerated or cooked, such as canned tuna, canned fruits, cereals that can be eaten dry, and granola bars.
- bottled drinking water
- a battery-operated radio to keep apprised of what’s going on
If bad weather is expected, it’s always a good idea to fill up the tanks on any automobile or generator you own and to charge phone batteries.
McCauley Electric Service is always ready to help with your winter weather preparation. It may not be as fun as the holidays, but these chores will save you both frustration and money during the first months of the new year. Call for a FREE QUOTE today!