Winter is slowly creeping in on us! Back in October when it snowed for a day, I think it put everyone into shock!! No one was ready for that wintery surprise! It’s like Iowa completely forgot that we’re supposed to have a season between summer and winter called fall. Oh well, that’s what we should expect Mother Nature to do in Iowa, after all! We should also expect to prepare our home for the below freezing temps and snow that will come and stick around until March or so. Today, I’ll be sharing what I have started to prepare my own home for the blustery months ahead!
When the temps started dropping in October, I desperately wanted to turn my gas fireplace on after I came home from work. To me, there’s nothing like snuggling up next to my fireplace with a heavy wool blanket and a good Netflix series. Unfortunately, my fireplace wasn’t turning on. I called my dad up to come to the rescue. I knew the gas tank was full since I had seen the gas company come out to fill up the tank, so I wasn’t sure what the issue was. Dad was able to find out that something on the line under the fireplace had somehow gotten disconnected, so we will need to have the gas company come to fix the issue soon. I’m happy this happened in October so that if the power goes out during the cold months, I’ll be able to turn on my fireplace to stay warm. Little House on the Prairie-style!
During the colder months, I turn into a cold-blooded person, so naturally I have the thermostat set to about 70 in the winter. When you turn on the furnace for the first time in several months, there’s always going to be a burning smell from dust in the ducts – it’s awful, right?! I’ve found that if I’m able to reach into the access points of my duct work and wipe out the dust with a dry microfiber cloth and clean my vents out with good soapy water, it helps minimize the dust burning smell. Or, you can call a local company to come to your house to make sure your furnace is running in tip-top shape for winter.
A tip I learned from my mom growing up was to take off the window screens, clean them, and store them away for the winter months. One of there reasons for doing this is solar heat gain. Solar heat gain is the amount of solar energy that penetrates a window. This is super helpful in the winter months for rooms that have windows that face the sun; it aids in heating up a room. Removing the screens also prevents snow build-up. If screens are left on during winter months, especially in snowy regions like Iowa, the snow will melt and cause damage to the wood around the window, which speeds up the process of when you’ll need to replace your windows.
You know how hot air rises? Well, who wants to their hot air up around the ceiling? Another helpful tip from my mom (gosh, where would we be without our moms?), is to reverse the direction of any ceiling fans. You’ll have to check your ceiling fan for the reverse switch, but this helps produce an updraft to push down the heated air from the ceiling, thus, keeping the hot air below to keep you warmer. While you’re up there flipping the switch, you could clean the fans and the glass – might as well, right?