The Comprehensive Home To-Do List to Check Off This Year
- Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast
This one may seem pretty intuitive, but we thought it was worth mentioning. Especially in New England – and with climate change impacting the planet now more than ever – the weather forecast has the potential to change drastically day-by-day – heck, we live in New England, it’ll shift hour-by-hour!
Make sure you’re prepared to take on the full impact of winter early in the season and keep tabs on the weather forecast so you don’t wake up to snow without breaking out your winter boots first.
2. Make Arrangements for Snow Removal
Whether you plan on shoveling, plowing or using a snow blower, it’s important to get your snow removal plans set early in the winter season, especially if you won’t be in town throughout much of it. Having your driveway and walkways cleared of snow and ice allows not only for your family to enter and exit your home safely, but also for deliveries from local companies (like us!) to be made promptly and efficiently.
3. Look into Temperature Monitoring Services
If you already have a home security system, you may want to reach out and see if that company also provides temperature monitoring, or explore your options of installing a standalone system to do so (like the one we offer). Whether you’re planning on being away from home for a day or a couple of months, it’s critical to keep tabs on your temperature at home – anywhere from 55-60°F should be enough to keep pipes from freezing, but extra help like pipe insulation sleeves never hurt, either!
4. Find a Blizzard Buddy
Choose a person in your neighborhood or surrounding area to function as your blizzard buddy – check in on each other before, during and after a storm is predicted to hit. If one of you is going away, ask the other to check on your home at least once per day to ensure that all is right inside.
5. Update Your Emergency Contact Profile
Make sure that your blizzard buddy neighbor, as well as local companies that do at-home service, repairs and deliveries regularly (like us!) has a complete and updated list of all of your emergency contact information so that we can contact you if something does go awry.
6. Keep Temperatures Tepid
Even if you’re not going to be home to enjoy it, keeping your home at a warm temperature is imperative so that your pipes don’t freeze and eventually burst. Your home should be kept at a minimum of 55-60°F at all times. It may seem counterintuitive to leave the heat set this high, but it’s well worth it if it means your home gets through the winter season unscathed.
7. Feel for Drafts
As the temperatures outside begin to fall, make note of any drafty areas in your home, especially by any windows or doors, or through your ceiling and roof. Where applicable, use caulking, weather stripping and window shrink-wrap to fight against any drafts that try to bring your inside temperatures down.
8. Have Back-Ups at the Ready
Being prepared for a storm is probably the best thing you can do for you home. So, prior to the season kicking in full-swing, consider having the following readily available:
- A power generator and portable chargers
- Non-perishable food items
- Books and board games
If you’re out of town when the power goes out and you want to know the condition of the food in your freezer, you can always prep beforehand by putting some ice cubes in a freezer bag and leaving them inside. When you return, you’ll be able to see if any of the cubes melted and refroze.
9. Prep Your Pipes
Burst pipes can cause significant damage to your home and personal belongings. Ensure you’ve taken every precaution to keep them safe by:
- Insulating your crawl space
- Wrapping pipes with foam insulation (don’t forget the ones in your attic or garage!)
- Letting water trickle through your faucets during periods of extreme cold weather
- Opening cabinet doors under the kitchen sink and bathroom vanities
- Turning off and draining your outdoor water faucets and taps