Let’s cut right to the chase—you’re in need of some winter preparation tips for your home and you’re not sure where to start. Let’s make it easy for you by diving right into the meat of the article and showing you how to easily get things sorted before your family comes home to spend the festive holiday together.
Cleaning and preparing your fireplace
The first major hurdle to overcome is the cleaning and preparation of your fireplace. This will really depend on the type of fireplace you have. If you have a large chimney then it might be worth hiring someone to clean it out for you so that when you do use it, the smoke isn’t stuck in the chimney due to dirt or other obstructions that have filled it during its time lying inactive.
Make sure you order plenty of firewood if you plan to use it on a regular basis. Again, this is going to depend heavily on your circumstances. Many homes will use fireplaces because they’re close to forests where firewood is easily accessible, but if you don’t want to take an axe to a tree or if you’re not allowed to, then it’s worth buying large sacks of firewood to use in your fireplace. Of course, if you have a fireplace that uses coal then you’ll need to order a different type of fuel.
If you feel like it’s too much hassle to use firewood or coal but still want an authentic fireplace to keep your family nice an cosy during the winter, then you should take a look at an electric fireplace. You still have time to install one before the Christmas festivities start but it will be rather expensive compared to just sticking with what you have.
Checking that your central heating is in top condition
To keep your entire home warm during the Christmas season you’re going to need your central heating system in great condition. Make sure you carry out thorough checks on your central heating system to ensure that it’s still working properly and that there are no faults. The last thing you want is for the entire system to fail or break during your celebrations.
It’s also worth checking that your thermostat is situated in a good area that offers convenient control over your entire home’s heating. Depending on where the thermostat is placed, you may get mixed results but this can easily be fixed by repositioning where it is. If you’re interested in more control over your thermostat, then you can make a simple upgrade to a digital one that can be controlled using either a remote control or a smartphone. Both are viable options that will make it much easier to control the overall temperature in your home.
Clear out your drains and gutters
During autumn, a lot of dirt, leave and sticks may have fallen into your gutters, clogging them and cause water to build up. Although it’s currently not a massive issue, you need to remember that during freezing temperatures, the water is going to easily freeze and cause further obstructions. In some cases, the water could drip off the overloaded gutters to create dangerous icicles that could snap and injure someone below.
It’s dangerous to leave these icicles alone, so make sure you clear the gutters so that this never happens and ensure that your drains are emptied out as well. The more water you direct away from your home the better.
Sweep and clear the roof
And speaking of your roof, make sure you don’t neglect to clean it up as well. You’ll want to ensure that all of the water drips off your roof and into a gutter that is directed away from your home. The less water that comes in contact with your home the better. This is because you don’t want any of the frozen water to come in contact with exposed pipes or weakened parts of your siding as it could cause immense damage that will be expensive to repair.
In short, remember that cold temperatures can damage your home and it can be made worse by neglecting to clear and sweep the roof and gutters of any junk that might be lodged in the piping.
Declutter all of your rooms
Next, declutter your home. You may want to consider hiring First Choice Mini Storage units to help you store spring or summer decorations and furniture. For instance, you’re probably not going to need deckchairs and beach balls if it’s going to be snowing, so why not hire a mini storage unit to keep it all locked up for when you actually need it? If you go this route, then you can easily swap the use of the storage unit by locking up winter things that you don’t need anymore and bringing out all of the summer decorations and furnishings.
Decluttering your home can be time-consuming, but it helps a lot if your children or other family members are willing to chip in a little. One of the best reasons to actually declutter your home is to keep furniture, boxes and other items away from radiators. The way the heating system works means that it requires a gap between the radiator and the rest of the room. This is to allow the hot air to circulate around so that it heats up the room evenly instead of being focused on a single location.
In short, decluttering comes with more advantages than just making your home look pretty. Not only does it clear up our property to make it look stunning and cared for, but it also helps to improve your home’s overall heating.
Seal up any drafts in your house
Winter is a great time to look for drafts in the home due to the chilly winds that are constantly blowing. If you find a hole or a gap where drafts are getting in, there are several ways to patch it up.
First, there’s the option of applying caulking. Caulking is usually applied to areas like the window trim to seal up any drafty areas. Make sure the caulk you buy is designed for indoor use. You’ll also need to clean the area before applying any to ensure that it sticks. Remove any old caulk if necessary and make sure it’s completely free of dust, paint and grime.
The other option is to install weatherstripping. These are often sold in small rolls and can be attached to windows or doors to seal up gaps that could be letting drafts in.
Lastly, you could also buy thick winter curtains that are designed to keep the drafts out and the heat in. These can be a fairly inexpensive way to seal up drafts, but it’s a good idea not to use them during the day when it’s better to let sunshine into your home instead.
Get your garage cleared out
If your family are going to be driving home then the last thing you want is to force them to park their vehicles in your driveway to freeze. Make sure you clear out your garage so that you have enough space for more vehicles if possible. Of course, not every garage will be this accommodating, but if you do have additional space to use then clear it out and use it for its intended purposes.
If you feel like your garage is filled to the brim with useless stuff then you could always declutter it with some tips found above. For instance, rent out a little storage unit to keep boxes and other things temporarily so that you get more space to work with. Make sure you also test out your garage door system and try to keep it free of water or other liquids that could freeze so that the mechanism doesn’t lock up or become damaged.
Prone to blackouts? Prepare for those situations
If your area is prone to blackouts during periods of cold weather then it’s important to have solutions ready. For example, candles make a great festive substitute for torches and they’re often cheaper and you can get scented varieties that smell fantastic.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to keep the power going then there’s nothing wrong with purchasing your own generator to keep power running. This can get expensive because you’ll need to supply it with your own fuel, but it can be a great way to keep the party going even during a town or street-wide blackout.
Bring out the Christmas decorations
And lastly, we can’t forget about Christmas decorations. Whether it’s a tree, a wreath on your front door or lots of fairy lights around your house, make sure these are done right at the end to let your family, neighbors and other visitors know that you mean serious business when it comes to preparing the perfect family home for the winter holidays.
And there you have it. With any luck, these tips will have given you a great start to your winter home preparation.