If there’s one thing you can count on in Oklahoma, it’s wild winter weather. Sometimes it’s brutally cold all winter long. Sometimes it feels like summer through December before it gets frigid. But eventually there’s always a cold snap that leaves pipes burst, heaters overworked, and Oklahomans scrambling for relief.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for Oklahoma’s worst winter weather.
Recaulk Your Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are the number one culprit for letting in cold winter air. Caulking the outside of these entry points can help insulate your home, reducing both your energy bill and wear and tear on your HVAC system.
Clean Your Gutters
Right before the Oklahoma sky dumps a load of snow on your home, the trees dump a load of leaves in your gutters. Clogged gutters won’t drain and the combined weight of wet leaves, snow, and ice can damage your gutters.
Schedule a Roof Inspection
Getting your roof inspected before winter weather dumps a foot of snow and ice on it can make a world of difference. Not only does a good roof provide better insulation, but it also protects your home’s framework from moisture damage and mold.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Rotation
Many people don’t know this, but most ceiling fans have a switch to control whether they rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. When it rotates counterclockwise, it forces cool air down on you to cool you. But, switching it to clockwise creates an updraft and recirculates the warm air in your home. Make sure to keep it only on the lowest setting, however.
Have Your Chimney Inspected
Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned every year before you light your first fire, even if you didn’t use it much the year before. Every time you burn wood you’re depositing creosote on your chimney walls. Creosote is highly flammable and cancerous. Too much creosote buildup can cause a chimney fire.
Replace Your Air Filter
There’s no right or wrong time to replace your air filter. Every home handles varying amounts of air pollution depending on how many people live there, how often you use your HVAC, how many pets you have, and other factors. At the very least, your filter should be inspected monthly if you have pets or allergies, or every 2-3 months otherwise.
Winterize Your Gas-Powered Engines
If you thought gasoline lasts forever, you can blame The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic shows for misleading you. Gas actually breaks down fairly quickly and can gunk up your engine’s carburetor if you leave your lawnmower or weedeater full of gas all winter long.
To prevent this, you can add a fuel stabilizer to give the gas a few extra months, or remove the gasoline. Simply running your mower until it runs out of gas will do the trick, or you can siphon it and put it in your car.
Tune Up Your HVAC Systems
Your heater has likely been sitting unused for the past six months, and it likely worked hard throughout the previous winter. LEE is here to help you protect your system and keep it running optimally. We can clean and tune up your furnace, whether gas or electric.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
House fires happen year round, but they peak in fall and winter. Heating, Christmas lights, crock pots, winter storms, candles, and other things all contribute to an increased risk of fire. Testing your detectors and replacing batteries is crucial before the winter months.
Trim Your Trees
Winter storms often dump a blanket of snow and ice on your trees, which can break old limbs and drop them on your roof, your car, or your power lines. Being proactive can save you money and hassle in the long run.
Winterize Your Faucets
Make sure to disconnect your water hoses and install an insulated faucet cover before temperatures dip into freezing temperatures. If your home happens to have supply line shut-off valves installed, you can turn off the water supply to your outdoor faucet to ensure it won’t freeze. If you do shut off water flow, make sure to drain what’s already in the faucet.
Install a Generator
There’s nothing worse than huddling together for warmth during a brutal cold snap that knocks out power to your home. Installing an emergency generator system will ensure your family stays cozy during even the worst winter storms.
LEE is Here to Help!
Whether you need help with your plumbing and HVAC, or if you need a new generator installed, LEE is here to help you get through these tough winter months.
Give us a call or text at 918-300-0404 to schedule an appointment. We’re available 24/7 for emergency services to make sure your family is taken care of.