Are You Prepared for the Winter Season?

    10 tips to help you prepare for the winter season ahead:

    The fall season has set in with the crisp, cool weather, and the days are getting shorter. Have you prepared for the winter season ahead?  Today we’ve gathered a few simple tips to help you prepare for the winter season:

    1. Create a home emergency kit

    Make sure you have the following items on hand: indoor candles and matches/lighter, back‐up batteries, bottled water and non‐perishable food (including pet food, if you have a pet) blankets and a first‐aid kit, and an evacuation plan.

    1. Plumbing

    Plumbing is especially susceptible to cold weather and freezing. Burst pipes from freezing can cause some of the most expensive repairs in the home. Use an insulating pipe wrap on pipes to keep them functioning in freezing temperatures. And remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the outside faucets and drain them if you store them outside.

    1. Clean those gutters

    Now that the leaves are falling, be sure to remove them and other debris from your home’s gutters, and then finally give it a good hose rinse so that winter’s rain and in a few short months the melting snow can drain. Clogged drains can form ice dams, in which the water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into the house, or gutter pipes to burst.

    1. Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

    It’s important to check your fire extinguisher periodically to make sure it is functioning properly. The National Fire Protection Agency’s code says portable fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly and undergo thorough maintenance once a year. And while the yearly maintenance should be performed by a professional, you can perform the monthly checks. It’s easy. Check the label or user manual for maintenance suggestions. We’ve also included a few additional tips, courtesy of our friend Bo Cochran, with Bo Cochran Agency, LLC:

    • Location: It’s critical that your fire extinguisher is easy to access in the event of an emergency. You don’t want it blocked by furniture or other items. And do please do not store your extinguisher in the cabinet above the oven, wink wink.
    • Check the tamper seal: Extinguishers have a tamper seal to verify that they have not been interfered with. Check this seal during your inspection. If the seal is broken, someone may have tried to use the extinguisher. If so, it’s time to replace the extinguisher or have it professionally inspected
    • Look at the pull pin: Be certain the pull pin is still inserted in the handle. If the pin is missing, it’s a clear sign that the fire extinguisher has been tampered with or used and needs a professional inspection.
    • Check the pressure: Many fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge. If yours has one, ensure that the gauge’s needle indicates that the pressure is in the proper operating range. Most of the time, the correct pressure will be marked in green on the gauge.
    • Track the professional inspections: Your fire extinguisher should have a tag to record the annual professional inspections. Check this tag to be certain that an annual schedule is being maintained.

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    1. Winterizing your car

    For your safety, look over the following checklist to ensure you have these items covered to keep your car running smoothly during cold weather:

    • Make sure your engine has the correct antifreeze levels
    • Fill up on windshield wiper fluid (winter mix)
    • Have an ice scraper and brush readily available
    • Check tire pressure levels
    • General tune‐up (heater, brakes, exhaust, etc.)
    1. Alarm check

    It’s a great time to check the operation of or change the batteries on your home’s smoke detectors. Test them with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the “test” button.

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    1. Insulate yourself

    Adding insulation to the existing insulation in your attic can save you money in the long run.

    So how do you know if you need to add more insulation? Take a look in your attic, if the floor joists are visible then you should call an insulation expert for an opinion or estimate. The professionals can determine if you have the correct amount of insulation needed. In most cases, you need a minimum of 9.5″ of insulation. However, it’s recommended to have 13.5″ of insulation of an R value of R-38. The R-38 value is what directly impacts a lower power bill.

    1. Reverse your ceiling fan

    Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of.

    Ceiling fans should rotate clockwise during the winter months. This way, the heat is evenly distributed throughout your rooms, as the fan pushes rising warm air down throughout the home.

    1. Check your heating system

    Have a routine check done by a heating professional. Vacuum vents and replace furnace filters if needed. If you use a fireplace as an alternative heating method, be sure to have it inspected and cleaned for proper efficiency or unsafe conditions.

    1. Protect windows & doors

    Be sure to check windows and doors for drafts and efficiency. Heat can escape through small cracks and holes which can result in higher heating bills. One inexpensive and effective way to insulate is apply weather stripping. This is easy to install and protects the outer edges of your windows to help keep warm air inside and cold air out.

    This Week’s Closings, Congratulations!

    • Rocket City Redevelopers, LLC
    • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pocopanni
    • Ms. Emily Georgiou
    • Ms. and Mrs. Justin Baker
    • DBPS Holdings, LLC
    • Mr. Michael F. Lawrence
    • Ms. Linda K. Llamas
    • Stone Financing LLC
    • Mr. and Mrs. Rashard Brooks
    • Mr. Eric Meade
    • Mr. and Mrs. Xavier Thigpen
    • Ms. Michelle Adams
    • Mr. Dean Bekken
    • Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas McGlathery
    • JS2 Properties, LLC
    • Mr. Tim Johnson
    • Mr. Michael Chandler
    • Mr. Edwin Stromberg
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Anthis
    • Mr. and Mrs. Brian Griffin
    • Mr. Justin Allen
    • Mr. and Mrs. Don Fleming
    • Ms. Jeronima Sanchez
    • Mr. Terry Wright and The Oasis Group
    • Ms. Rebecca Wilkenson
    • Mr. Delroy Brown
    • Mr. and Mrs. Steven Bray

     

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