Winterize Your Home With These Tips : Is Your Home Ready For Winter?
With an average temperature of 22 degrees in the winter, Chicago and its surrounding cities are used to the cold weather. But is your home ready for winter? The City of Chicago recommends many precautions and preparedness tips, none more so than making sure your home is winterized.
These low temperatures can not only affect you while outside, but can cost you hundreds of dollars in heating bills if your home is not properly maintained. Some preparations include replacing your insulation in walls, attics, garages and basements, caulking doors and windows, and installing storm windows or at least covering the windows in thick plastic. You should also take steps to prevent burst pipes, such as wrapping them with heat tape (make sure they’re UL approved) or insulating the pipes as well.
You should also prepare to be isolated in your home in case of a severe winter storm by stocking up on canned goods, water, and first aid supplies. We have compiled a list to make sure you and your home ready for winter:
1. PRE-STORM PREPARATION
- Know the winter weather terms, such as Winter Storm, Ice Storm, and Blizzard, as well as the difference between “advisories,” “watches,” and “warnings.”
- Protect your health by knowing the physical dangers of a winter storm, and dress appropriately for the weather.
- Communicate with schools as well as those responsible for the care of the elderly and the disabled to identify winter storm emergency plans.
- Know where to locate, and how to contact emergency service providers such as police, fire, EMS, and hospitals.
- Prepare your home by insulating walls and weatherizing windows and doors.
a. Make sure your heat is in working order, and know who to contact if it stops working.
b. Locate and insulate pipes that are susceptible to freezing.
c. Know where to shut off the water in case pipes burst.
d. Prepare an emergency kit that includes the following: At least 3 days’ worth of canned/no-cook food and drinking water, extra blankets, a flashlight and radio with spare batteries, a first aid kit with non-prescription drugs, extra medication, sanitary items, and a spare battery and charger for mobile devices.
e. The Chicago Fire Department (CFD) does not recommend the use of space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least three feet from anything that can ignite. The use of space heaters around children should be monitored closely.
2. DURING A WINTER STORM
- Stay indoors in a heated room as much as possible.
- Close unneeded doors, and cover cracks with towels or blankets, especially if you have no heat.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, even when indoors. Have extra layers of clothing and protection such as blankets ready, in the event of a power outage.
- When using an alternative heating source, exercise extreme caution and ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Make sure everyone knows where to locate the emergency kit, and what it contains. Use electronic items sparingly to preserve battery life in the event of a power outage.
Make sure you’re ready for winter, as it seems like it may be a bad one this year!