9 Ways to Winterize Your Home in the Magic Valley
Twin Falls has been blessed with a decently warm Fall until recently, and as the temperature drops, time is running out to prepare for winter. Snow has already glazed the mountain tops and flakes have made their presence felt this week in the Magic Valley. As the weather continues to drop, it is time to get your house ready for winter, as well as yourself, your vehicles, and anything else that needs taken care of before the temperatures are below freezing, and stay there for months at a time. Here are some things you need to do to prepare for the cold weather and winter as they approach.
Order Firewood Now
With some homes in Twin and the Magic Valley being older, not all homes have central heat. If you rely on a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure to get your wood now if you haven't already. It is the busiest time of year for getting wood, and if you don't have it now you may have to wait a few days or even weeks before it can be delivered. The cost of wood is much higher this year than in past years, due to higher gas prices, so be prepared to drop a little more than you are used to.
Changing Out Your Closet
It has been a while since many of us have needed our heavy coats, gloves, beanies, and winter boots. If you change out your closet with the seasons, it is time to pull out the warmer clothes and put the summer ones away. The temperatures will drop fast, and if you hesitate, you may find yourself a little chilly one day if you don't have the right attire ready to go. Luckily, most days are getting to the 40s and 50's so you shouldn't be a popsicle yet, but those days are numbered and won't last forever.
Find or Buy an Ice Scraper
It is amazing how you will know where your ice scraper is in July, and see it in your car or your garage or shed, but when the first morning comes that you need it, it isn't in the location it has been for the last few months. One day you will be jumping in your car to go instantly, and the next you will be scraping your windows and running late. Make sure to have your ice scraper ready and where you need it for when that first frost comes.
Change Your Sheets and Blankets
With the summer having been so hot this year, many of us likely stripped the bed of all sheets and blankets. If you did leave some, they likely were the ones to help cool you off at night. You may forget how big of a difference it makes, but if you have flannel sheets, now is the time to get them on the bed, as they will keep you warmer through the window than normal ones. If you have an electric blanket, throw that one on the bed as well, and you can leave it off until you need it for those bone chilling nights that are coming this winter.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning Now
As with firewood, chimney sweeping is in its peak time right now, and if you haven't scheduled one yet, you may be waiting for a while. If you can't remember the last time you swept the chimney, you may want to get that done. It is best to sweep it every year if you can, but at least every couple to be safe.
Locate Your Snow Equipment
With snow already having fallen on the Magic Valley, although it didn't stick, it serves as a reminder that it will come out of nowhere. Don't find yourself unprepared and wondering where your snow blower or shovel is. Make sure you have access to them and know where they are, as well as make sure everything you need is working properly, instead of finding out the hard way and being snowed in later in the season.
Clean Heaters and Test Them
Since it has been months since heaters have been needed, it is best to take a look at them and clean them before you turn them on. Dust, fur, and who knows what else gathers into vents and heaters and it is wise to clean and dust them out so nothing starts a fire. The smell of your house burning is inevitable the first time a heater is turned on, but this way it is only the smell and not an actual fire.
Cover Your Air Conditioners
With the heat gone and not returning for a while, the use of an AC is no longer needed. Make sure to cover them for the winter so snow does not get into them and damage them. If you have window units that can be taken out, it is safe now to assume you won't need them and should remove them now.
Flip the Switch on Your Fans
It may seem like a small thing, but many do not know this little tidbit of knowledge for the winter. If you flip the switch on your fan and have it go the opposite direction, it'll help pull the heat up and spread it throughout the room and home. Most people leave their ceiling fans off all winter, but you can use them to help warm up the house by having it spin counterclockwise and suck up that heat to your benefit.
With the long hot summer finally ending, some cool weather is appreciated, but soon that will turn into cold, and then into extremely cold. If you do not prepare properly it will sneak up on you and with October ending in the next few days, now is the time to make those preparations before it is too late and you deal with the consequences. Bundle up and get ready, winter and the cold is coming, even if it is only Fall.