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6 Things to Do to Prepare for Winter Storms

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winter home Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to prevent winter storms but there are things you can do to protect your home. If you have a traditional ducted system with central air conditioning and forced heat, then the list of things you need to do will be long. Of course, if you have a ductless heating and cooling system, you’ll need to do much less.

1. Check out your home’s exhaust pipes

Take a walk around the exterior of your home to make sure that your exhaust pipes are clear of snow, ice, and other debris. If you have pipes that look vulnerable, insulate them by wrapping them in insulation sleeves.

2. Turn off outdoor water lines

Make sure that your outdoor water lines are turned off. This includes your hoses, outdoor spigots, etc. Turning them off can help prevent your pipes from freezing and can save you quite a hassle. However, if a pipe does freeze and burst, turn off the water supply and open up the faucet to drain it. Make sure you leave that faucet open until you’re able to get it repaired.

3. Make sure your oil tank has enough to last

Remember that if the storm shuts down streets, delivery trucks may not be able to get to you for days. This will also cause them to be backed up on all their deliveries, which can further delay them. Generally speaking, don’t let your tank get below one-quarter full.

4. Check your emergency generator

If you have an emergency generator, take a few minutes to make sure that you’ve got enough fuel to last a few days. Remember that you never want to run a portable generator inside – and that includes your garage.

5. Clear snow and ice from your outdoor units

To ensure your home stays warm, as soon as you’re able to safely go outside, clear snow and ice from any exterior HVAC units. This includes the condenser for a ductless heating system . If snow or ice is allowed to build up, it can keep the unit from defrosting correctly, which can lead to issues down the line.

6. Check your smoke alarms

This is a great opportunity to make sure your smoke alarm is still working and to change the batteries. You can also take a look at your carbon monoxide detectors.

These six things should be a great start to ensuring you stay safe and comfortable in winter storms.