December 20th, 2010
Though California doesn’t generally get hit as hard by winter as many states, it is still important that you take some steps to protect your home against the season.
1. Reverse your ceiling fan
Most people don’t think of doing this, but if you reverse the direction of your ceiling fan’s spin will push the hotter air down and recirculate the air. The blades should be turning clockwise when you look up for a winter-friendly fan.
2. Check for air leaks around the house
This is a simple way to keep in the heat and save on electrical bills this winter. The most common drafty areas are window and door frames, electrical outlets, and recessed lighting. A fun way to check for leaks? Take an incense stick around your drafty areas to see where air is leaking out.
3. Get your chimney cleaned
It is very important to keep a clean chimney, as build up can create a huge fire hazard. Make sure you hire a chimney sweep or DIY before you start using that fireplace. It may need an inspection, not a full cleaning; experts recommend a Level 1 inspection prior to fireplace use each year.
4. Clean out your gutters
If you haven’t done so yet, clean out your gutters to prevent build up and allow California winter rain to drain away. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “clogged drains can form ice dams, in which water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into the house.” You can use a spatula, do it by hand, or hire someone to do it for you.
Now is the perfect time to check the batteries or change them on your fire alarms throughout your home. Consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home – every house should have at least one.
Any other simple winterizing tips? Leave them in the comments!