Preparing for winter should always come well before the first frost. By the time we’re whirling Nat King Cole tunes around in our heads up here in Northern Colorado, all of the prep for winter should be long behind us. Try out these 10 tips from your friends at Advanced Landscape & Sprinkler Inc. and see if they don’t help you have yourself a calmer, stress-free winter this year.
- Trim weak branches and get rid of the dead ones. If the branches on the trees near your home could snap under the weight of snow, have them removed. This will help to prevent damage to your home, car, or someone walking by who perhaps isn’t expecting an encounter with a bunch of dead wood and leaves and ice. Talk to a professional so that you get your branches trimmed without damaging the growth of the tree. That way, you can count on enjoying the shade when the sun starts to shine again.
- Check your water heater for leaks and maintain a proper temperature setting — the Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees. Older water heaters usually don’t have much insulation and you can save six percent of your heating energy for every 10 degrees you’re willing to lower it.
Try these interior decorating tips:
-Changing from a cool to a warm color palette in your bedroom during the winter gives the room a warmer feel.
-Installing energy-efficient light bulbs in the five most commonly used lights in your home can save as much as $60 per year, cutting your winter savings even further. Those are the kitchen ceiling light, the living room table and floor lamps, the bathroom vanity, and the outdoor porch or lamppost.
-Cut insulation foam or egg crate foam just slightly bigger than your large windows. Put the pieces in the window at night to keep the cold air from coming in the edges, and then take them out in the morning to let the sunshine in to warm the house throughout the day.
-Use a quilt as a textile hanging on your wall or over a patio door. It will help provide insulation.
- Treat your pipes to their “winter woolies”. Wrapping your pipes in heating tape can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Have your furnace and any fireplaces serviced properly once a year. Clean permanent furnace filters and replace replaceable filters. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure to have your chimney swept thoroughly. This is also the perfect time to check all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Well-insulated attics keep ice from forming on your roof. Well-insulated basements help to prevent your pipes from freezing. Make sure your home is well-insulated.
- Drain and shut off your sprinkler system and any other exterior water lines. Better yet, contact a professional who can help you take care of this lickety-split.
- Make sure piles of firewood don’t touch your house directly. It seems like a small thing, but if you’re not careful of this, you’re basically building a road into your home for carpenter ants and termites.
- Keep your gutters clean. If ice collects and creates a dam in your gutters, water cannot drain and it will begin to leak into your house instead. This can potentially cause serious damage to your ceilings and walls. One way to help prevent this from happening is to keep your gutters clear of leaves, sticks, and any other debris. You can also purchase gutter screens, available at home stores, that help prevent debris from collecting and also help direct water away from the house.
- Heat your home. It can be tempting to turn the thermostat down another degree or two, just put on a thicker sweater and get started on counting your savings. Your home, however, should never go below 65 degrees. The reason for this magic number is that the air in your walls — where your pipes are housed — gets a lot chillier than 65 degrees. But if your home is kept at 65, the air in the walls won’t get so cold that the pipes will freeze and burst. Make sure you’re always heating your home properly.
As you can see, there are many things that need to be done to properly winterize your home and property, and it’s never too early to get started. For any and all of your landscaping winterizing concerns, from blowing out sprinklers and shutting them down for the season to potentially hazardous hedgerows or similarly stupefying shrubbery, Advanced Landscape & Sprinkler Inc. of Northern Colorado is always happy to help. Contact us today!