Most people in Albuquerque are usually not prepared for winter. When the temperature starts to drop, you can avoid possible issues and stay safe and healthy by following these ten crucial winter home safety guidelines.
Examine your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
Make it a routine to examine and replace the batteries in your home’s carbon monoxide and smoke detectors at least once a year. The detector’s expiry date, which is located on the bottom, should be noted during testing. If there isn’t a stated expiry date, bear in mind that smoke detectors need replacement every 8 to 10 years, although CO detectors typically last three to five years.
Heat Your Car Outside
Even with the garage door open, you should never warm up your car in the garage. You run the risk of breathing in hazardous gasses like carbon monoxide when you leave your automobile running in a small space.
Prevent Freezing of Water Pipes
During the winter, neglecting your plumbing can have serious repercussions. Reduce the chance of frozen or burst pipes by protecting yourself with a few precautionary steps. The most vulnerable pipes to freezing are those found on external walls or in unheated interior regions like your garage, attic, or basement. Invest in pipe insulation for plumbing that runs beside an external wall for long-term protection.
Make sure you seal the interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets if your spigots aren’t resistant to freezing temperatures. You can let cold water run from your interior faucets during really cold weather. The water flows through the pipes constantly, reducing the chance of freezing. Opening closet and cabinet doors also aids in letting warmer air travel near external wall plumbing.
Ensure Adequate Ventilation
Cleaning your dryer vent, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, return and supply vents, and dryer vent should be a top priority all year round, but it’s crucial in the winter. Families who spend more time inside accumulate more dust and other airborne particles and pollutants, which, in the absence of proper ventilation, can lead to problems with indoor air quality.
Go for Filter Replacements
During the winter, furnace filters need to be changed more often. Regular replacements reduce energy use, enhance indoor air quality, and maintain optimal performance from your heating system.
Arrange for a Furnace Inspection
In addition to ensuring that your heating system is operating correctly and effectively, having your furnace inspected and cleaned once a year helps you avoid expensive repair costs and premature system failures.
Monitor Outdoor Utilities
It’s crucial to keep snow and ice away from your outdoor meters and vents. The area around the meter can be carefully cleaned with a brush or broom. Treat snow and ice carefully while shoveling or plowing near utility equipment, and never use a heat source to melt it.
Examine Outdoor Exhaust Vents Frequently
An external exhaust vent is necessary for high efficiency natural gas appliances including fireplaces, furnaces, and water heaters. Plastic pipes that escape your house at the foundation are most vents. It is imperative that snow, ice, and other debris be always kept out of these vents. A transparent aperture prevents carbon monoxide from building up by allowing gasses from your appliances to flow to the outside.
Prevent Diseases & Infections
It’s no secret that viruses proliferate in the winter and that being inside increases one’s susceptibility to illness. Keep hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap on hand. Urge all members of your family to make frequent use of them. Invest in an electronic air purifier that connects to your home’s ventilation system if you really want to take additional safety measures. Up to 99% of dangerous airborne pollutants can be captured and eliminated by a whole-home air purifier.
Get rid of Icy Gutters
Make sure there are no leaves or other debris in your gutters before the snow comes. A clean gutter helps shield your house and roof from ice and water accumulation that can harm them. The first sign of a possible issue is big icicles hanging from your gutters, which can appear at any time throughout the winter.