We’ve been fortunate here in Lancaster County this year, temperatures have stayed unseasonably warm. Up until this past week, it was almost possible to forget we’re a short few weeks away from winter! Whether you’re living in Ephrata or Manheim, Lancaster City or Lititz, there are plenty of things you should be doing at home to prepare for winter. Here’s some things to consider:
Inside the house:
- Test your smoke alarms. Make sure to test all of your smoke alarms – or better yet, put fresh batteries in them to be sure! Stock up on a fire extinguisher or two and talk to your family about fire safety and the exit paths throughout your home. This time of year tends to see stoves and ovens being used more frequently, as well as fireplaces and wood stoves. Make sure you’re keeping your home and family safe!
- Clean your dryer vents and duct system. Make sure all the lint is cleared out and air is flowing freely. Fires related to clogged dryer vents tend to increase this time of year.
- Schedule service for your heating service. It’s always a great idea to have your furnace or boiler serviced prior to using it each season tomake sure it’s safe to run and in good working order. Chances are you may have already flipped your heating system on for the year, but it’s not too late. Call to schedule service with your preferred technician today.
- Prepare for winter storms. Here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we’re never quite sure what winter will bring. Some years we have quiet, cold winters and some we find ourselves inundated with winter storms. Along with the possibility of winter storms comes the possibility of loss of power and dropping indoor temperatures. Make sure your flashlights have working batteries, and that you’re stocked up with extra. Stock up on canned goods and water, as well as extra warm blankets. You may even want to consider a back up generator.
Outside the house:
- Make sure that gutters are clear and secure. Be sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris so that when winter storms hit the melting snow and ice can flow freely away from your home. You also want to be sure your gutters are secured tightly to your home so the ice does not bring them down.
- Have snow removal equipment at the ready. If you need to hit up the store, be sure you have shovels or a snowblower, along with ice scrapers and ice melt. Make sure all of your snow removal equipment is easily accessible so you aren’t tramping through snow just to get it out the first time.
- Remove screens and have storm windows in place. If you haven’t already, be sure to replace the screens in your storm doors with the glass panes. This will ensure the winter weather doesn’t rip your screens, and help keep cold out of the house. Also, if your home has storm windows that need to be manually secured, make sure that is taken care of before the first winter storm hits.
- Stock up on firewood. If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, make sure you have a good stock of firewood to get you through the long winter months.