The season of dealing with almost continual snow is pretty much here, and with that comes the need to make sure your home is ready and able to stand up to the onslaught. You have winterproofed for years, so you have the routine you usually follow. Here are a few things that are important to do but don’t always make it into the typical Clevelander’s routine:

Bring in aluminum outdoor furniture

While other types of metal can stand up to a Northeast Ohio winter pretty well, aluminum is the least likely of the metals to make it out unscathed. Aluminum rusts easily, sometimes even when covered, and will not look as pristine come next summer.

Upgrade your thermostat

If your thermostat is humming along without incident, this may seem unnecessary, but a periodic upgrade every few years is a smart move. As technology evolves, thermostats continue to become more effective at managing the climate in your home and doing so in an energy efficient way. You can get away with spending $20-40 for a very good one… unless you’d like to spring for one of the smart versions, that is. WiFi enablement will allow you to have even more control. Even for those who are reticent to DIY, thermostats typically come with very clear how-to guides that will allow you to wire and set it up yourself. Check out this economical Energy Star option from Honeywell on Target’s website.

Check the grate on your chimney

Many older homes have grates toward the top of the chimney to discourage the intrusion of small animals looking for a warm place to hide. If you haven’t checked your grate in a while, it will be worth it—it’s better than attempting to track down a rogue squirrel or chipmunk!

Analyze your energy consumption

Most utility companies offer online portals where you can analyze your energy consumption and note if something seems out of the ordinary. Are you trending toward much more usage than you did last winter? It could be the unusually low temperatures, or it could be that your furnace is having to work harder than it did before. Is it not functioning as well? Do you have a crack that is creating a draft? Is your filter ancient? Check and see.

Line your curtains

If you close your curtains at night or if you are open to doing so, hanging insulated curtains or lining them with affordable options from Amazon or local stores may save you a surprising amount of money. It will also make your home cozier both visually and temperature-wise.

Avoid frozen pipes

When the temperature looks like it is going to drop precipitately overnight, a smart move is to leave your faucets dripping just a bit to keep water circulating through the pipes and thus avoid freezing. Keep your garage door closed as well during long, cold days so that exterior pipes don’t get over-chilled.

Change your furnace filter

This one is a nuisance and can easily be overlooked, but you don’t want to make your furnace work any harder than it has to. It was also improve air quality so that, during all the indoor time, your family stays healthier and breathes cleaner air. If you are using a conventional filter, techs recommend changing it once a month during the winter months. Not sure how to do it but would rather not hire someone? Watch this YouTube video for helpful hints.

We hope you feel more ready for the deep winter months—stay warm!

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