Winter Is Coming … Get Prepared
While South Texas isn’t known for its frigid winters, it’s important to be prepared. You never know when a winter storm might hit, and with current supply chain issues causing delays for all types of goods, some planning now could go a long way later.
- Get Your AC Checked – Regardless of the time of year, your air conditioner is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home. If you didn’t do so during the summer, make sure to get a technician to come out and service your AC unit and perform basic maintenance. Also, don’t forget to check your AC filter on a monthly basis.
- Window and Door Inspections – This is a good time to go around and check all of your windows and doors. Look for damaged caulking on windows or any signs of drafts. If necessary, seal up those spots with exterior caulk. These easy fixes will not only keep the warm air inside during the winter, it will also help keep the hot air out during the summer. If you can see light or feel air around your door, make sure to add or replace the weatherstripping to seal up those openings.
- Generator Now – If you have been thinking about getting a generator, now would probably be a good time to really start looking. You don’t want to go searching the stores when bad weather is already on its way. Plus, installing a generator can be tricky. You likely will need to get an electrician to do the work, and this will also give you time to acquaint yourself with the safe use of the generator. Improper installation can be very dangerous. You cannot operate a generator in your home, garage or screened in porch.
- Protection for Plants and Pipes – You might have been like the many people who had to improvise to find ways to protect your plants. This is a good time to strategize what materials will protect your plants best and have them at the ready. Any outside pipes need that same protection. Make sure you identify any pipes that need protection and buy something that can insulate from the cold.
- More Insulation – Look for areas in your home that might benefit from insulation – or more insulation. Many attics only have the most basic insulation and would do a much better job with more insulation. That has the benefit of helping in the winter against the cold and in the summer against the heat. We’ve already mentioned getting supplies to insulate any pipes that might be exposed to harsh temperatures, but don’t forget about your water heater. An insulation blanket, or hot water heater blanket, can be purchased at any home improvement or hardware store and will help keep your water heater from losing heat. These insulation blankets can be especially helpful if you have an older water heater.
- Emergency Kit – Did you remember to create an emergency kit during the hurricane season? If not, there’s no time like the present to get prepared. The kit should contain items that you would need in the case of being without utility service. Some recommended items include: batteries, flashlights, radio, first aid kit, manual can opener, emergency contact information. It’s also not a bad idea to set aside some water and cans of foods.