‘Tis the season for snow boots – and the mess they trail inside. Prepare the interior of your home now for wintry days ahead.
Have you checked the forecast? Winter is almost here – and some places have already received their first snowfall of the season!
For homeowners in chillier climates, now’s the time to prepare for the challenges of winter weather. In addition to turning off outdoor waterlines and stocking up on shovels and sand, it’s important to get the interior of the home ready for frosty temps, too.
Consider these checklist items to help prepare the inside of your home to withstand the colder months – and run smoothly throughout them.
1. Stock the entryway with winter gear
If you live in an area that experiences the harsh weather of the season, it’s officially time to remove summer items from the entryway and replace them with more insulated options. Store away warm weather shoes like sandals and bring out the boots and slippers. In bins or on hooks, find convenient space to store coats, mittens, and hats.
Invest in plastic or rubber shoe trays for each entrance to prevent dragging snow into the house. Some people even opt for a boot brush mat outside the door to wipe off shoes before stepping inside.
2. Make sure nothing is touching the heater
Redecorated recently? Whether the answer is yes or no, furniture can scooch around throughout the year with use. To prevent risk of damage or fire, make sure items like furniture, blankets, or drapes aren’t touching the heating system, including baseboards or a radiator.
The same awareness goes for candles. Lighting a candle is a great way to make a room feel cozy on a winter day, but be cautious when placing them throughout the house. Put them in exposed areas situated far from notoriously flammable items like drapes and curtains, holiday decorations, and more.
3. Switch out linens for warmer options
If your house runs cold, try swapping out lighter bedding for toastier options, including flannel sheets or a more insulated comforter. Also consider adding a few throw blankets in common seating areas to make evenings more comfortable.
4. Organize the garage for indoor parking
Home to yard supplies, sports equipment and outdoor recreation gear, the garage can get messy in the warmer months when people tend to park outdoors more frequently. Take time now to organize the garage, sweep the floor, and make room for a parked car. This could save you from the trouble of windshield scraping when overnight frosts and snowstorms arrive.
5. Reverse ceiling fans
Did you know the direction a ceiling fan’s blades spin determines whether it pulls air up or pushes air down? This little fact can help cut costs on energy bills throughout the year.
In the summer months, it’s best to have the fan run counterclockwise, blowing air down to create a cooling effect. And in the winter months, it’s best to have the fan run clockwise, redistributing hot air throughout the room. Figure out which way you currently have it running by turning off the fan, standing underneath (looking upward) and having someone else switch the fan back on. Pay attention to the first few revolutions.
Then, to change the direction of the blades, turn off the fan (wait for a complete stop!) and then flip the switch that is often found on either the motor housing or the base.
6. Clean up the fireplace
Whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, make sure it’s in good shape prior to using it.
For a gas fireplace, ensure you have a sufficient supply of propane and, while the fireplace is off, clean the vent and glass panel of any dust and buildup. For a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney inspected by a professional chimney inspector and hire a professional chimney sweep. These annual services will help keep your fireplace in pristine condition and safe to use.
Spending the first winter in your new home? Check out tips for preparing the exterior of the property for the snowy season ahead.