ll archives: 8 Things You Need to Get Your Home Ready for Cold Weather

LL_Blog_WinterizHome-866x550.jpg

Have you dug out your gloves and winter hat yet? It may not be frigid right now, but colder weather is coming, and you don’t want to be unprepared. Get your home ready for cold weather while you’re still drinking pumpkin spice lattes, instead of waiting for peppermint and gingerbread flavors to arrive at your local coffee shop. There are a few sensible maintenance steps every home requires. Beyond that, the change of seasons gives you a chance to update your décor with a personal touch from blankets to humidifiers. Read on to discover how you can protect yourself and have fun with winter home preparations.

Take Care of Practical Things First

Every season brings routine maintenance requirements for homeowners. If you take preventive steps to ensure your house and its equipment are in good working order, you’ll save on expensive repairs or replacements in the long term.

Renters should also ensure their landlords maintain the property and all its parts. A broken furnace in winter will be a major inconvenience to everyone, whether you’re financially responsible for replacing it or not. Ask your landlord if she’s recently checked on the following items or take action yourself:

Furnace: A yearly inspection is relatively inexpensive and can save you money on energy costs and bigger repairs. It can also improve the air quality in your home by detecting carbon monoxide leaks. Overall, annual furnace service is a wise investment in the health of your home and family. It’s also one of the best steps you can take to prepare your house for winter weather. Get your furnace ready now so you don’t get caught without heat in January.

Window Insulation: Everyone dreads high heating bills in winter, but no one wants to shiver at home either. Insulating your windows for the cold months can be a cheap and easy solution for both renters and homeowners. Options range from specially made curtains and blinds to plastic film. Once you insulate, you’ll be amazed at the difference a lack of drafts makes to your comfort.

Drainage: Whether winter precipitation just means rain in your town or you live in a snow-prone area, you need to make sure your house is ready to deal with all that water. Proper drainage, above and below, is the solution. Remove leaves and other debris from gutters and check for any loose or missing parts. Then look at the condition of your home’s foundation and the surrounding landscaping. The foundation should show evidence of quality engineering with no cracks or other signs of damage, and the ground should slope away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling and entering your house.

Treat Yourself to Some New Winter Staples

Is your favorite blanket starting to show its age with loose threads and stains? Has mold sprouted in last year’s humidifier from lack of cleaning? Figure out which of your winter household staples need updating, then enjoy the new designs and colors that will brighten your rooms during the bleak months.

Cozy Blanket: Even if you can’t bear to part with your worn favorite, pick out a stylish new blanket to freshen your couch for winter. Fashion and function don’t have to exclude one another. Look for modern colors and patterns that match your living room’s existing design, then pick out a snuggly fabric like wool, cashmere or flannel that will keep you warm through all those movie nights.

Shoe Storage: Water and hardwood floors don’t mix, and dirty snow and slush can stain carpets. Make it easy for yourself and others to leave winter shoes and boots at the door. An appealing shoe storage piece, whether attached to the wall or sitting on the ground, makes it easy to keep shoes organized and away from vulnerable flooring.

Slow Cooker: Maybe you don’t have one or you’re hoping Grandma’s old crockpot will make it through another winter. Upgrade your kitchen equipment with a new slow cooker. This machine will be your go-to for low-effort, high-comfort recipes like soups and stews. Some models are even equipped with Wi-Fi so you can control cooking time and temperatures on the go, or while you’re sitting at work dreaming of your cozy evening at home.

Humidifier: Many people only think to break out the humidifier when they have cold or flu symptoms, but the benefits reach beyond temporary illness to alleviate many winter nuisances. Keeping humidifiers on when you’re home counters the drying effects of heating systems on lips, skin and nasal passages. Look for sleek designs to make your humidifier easy on the eyes as well as the rest of your body.

Electric Blanket: Consider this the Cadillac of cold-weather amenities. Sure, it costs money to operate, but you don’t have to leave your electric blanket on all night. Most models come with a timer so they will turn off after you’re asleep, or you can just turn it on to warm your sheets before you go to bed. There’s nothing like that fresh-from-the-dryer feel, especially when it’s freezing outside.

Getting your home ready for cold weather is practical, but it can also be fun. Beat the winter blues and inoculate yourself against holiday stress by creating your own haven right now.