Winter is here. While winters are fairly mild in Florida compared to other parts of the country, that does not mean preparations are not needed. The time to begin those preparations is now.
This first preparation may seem unnecessary when prepping for winter in Florida; however, there are winter storms in the region that can damage pipes if they’re not properly protected. The pipes in Florida are often not well-insulated, and they’re buried not far from the surface of the ground. These facts make the pipes susceptible to damage when temperatures reach freezing.
Protect the Roof
Take some time to make sure gutters are free of debris, such as leaves, branches and other small particles. Also, make sure tree branches are trimmed far enough away from the roof so as not to cause damage if heavy winds arrive. These precautions are wise throughout the year, but they become even more critical during the winter.
Seal Your Home’s Exterior
All leaks and cracks around doors and windows should be sealed. You should also check for any other locations where cold air can enter and warm air can escape. This precaution will save money on your energy bills during winter months. Sealing entryways can increase savings by 5 to 30 percent.
Check Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms should be inspected to be sure they are operational. This includes making sure batteries are present and charged. Smoke alarms should be checked every six months. It should be noted that the majority of house fires happen in the winter months.
Change Air Filters
Air filters should be inspected and changed if needed. Clean air filters are necessary during the winter months to ensure air quality and make sure it flows throughout the home.
Cover the Pool
If you own a pool or hot tub, then it’s important that you take steps to winterize your pool. Part of that process is storing pool accessories and tools in a dry and secure location. You should also cover the pool to keep out potential debris and carefully monitor the water chemistry to prevent freezing. These steps will ensure that your pool will be ready to use when the weather warms up.
Check Attic Insulation
Your attic’s insulation should be no less than 12 inches deep. Ducts should be vacuumed so that air quality in the house can be maintained. These two steps can be a slight inconvenience. However, the savings you will realize on your monthly energy bills make them well worth your time.
Store Any Boats
Additionally, though again, winters in Florida tend to be mild, you might not be using your boat during that time. In that case, you will want to prepare and store it correctly for disuse. This means cleaning the boat, repairing any damages, store anything that is lying about the boat, drain all fluid, but fill the gas tank and antifreeze, among other things. Since boats can be a common thing in parts of Florida to own, see if you might have any friends or acquaintances to see if they can help you with your preparation.
Winters in Florida are not nearly as harsh as winters in many other parts of the country. Floridians should not interpret this as a reason not to make preparations for the winter months. Properly preparing your home for winter will protect it from any potential damage from storms. You will also save money on winter energy bills.