Inclement weather is coming. In our NY Metro area, we can expect cold air, heavy rainfall, gale force winds, ice storms, and lake-effect snowfall as early as mid-October. Get your house in order and make sure it’s the retreat you’ll need to take you through the fall and winter comfortably – and check out our infographic below!
Preparing Your Home for the Season Change
Here are 5 Quick Tips you can do in October to weatherize your house for the upcoming cold weather and dark skies ahead.
Switch the Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can be useful in the colder months, but only when functioning properly. Dust fans thoroughly and reverse the ceiling fan blades, enabling the fan to help distribute heat throughout the room.
How can you tell if your blades are facing the correct way? If you feel the air pushing downward and a light breeze, the fan blades are set to warm-weather mode. For the colder months, fan blades should pull air upward and away from you when you stand underneath the fan.
Quick Tip #1: Fan blades go clockwise in the fall, pushing warm air up and counterclockwise in the spring for a cool breeze.
Cover the AC Units and Close the Vents
There is some debate in the professional air conditioning space whether AC Units should be covered during the colder months. Modern units are designed to withstand heavy wind, rain, and other climate elements, but covering them protects them from falling debris like leaves and from bugs. Covering wall units also prohibits the cool air from passing into your home during the winter months.
The choice to cover them is yours, but if you choose to cover your AC units, always use a prefabricated cover. This stops mold from growing in the dampness created inside the AC.
Quick Tip #2: Purchase an air conditioner cover designed for your unit(s) for the best outcome. Close or seal off the air vents inside the house.
Stock Up on Canned Goods and Shelf-Stable Foods
Nothing’s worse than when you’re cozy, sheltered indoors from a hurricane or blizzard, than a bare pantry. Stocking up on canned goods and shelf-stable foods is a good preventative measure. Spend some extra time and money at the grocery store now and be thankful on that first below-zero day when and there’s plenty of oatmeal, soup, pasta, rice, peanut butter, veggies, and beans. Don’t forget fun, snack foods – popcorn, hot chocolate, granola bars, dried fruits – anything that doesn’t require refrigeration and will keep through the season.
Consider having a stocked baking pantry as well, in the event you’re inspired to bake breads, cookies, pizza dough, pies, etc. At minimum, you’ll need flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, shelf-stable or powdered milk, and yeast on hand. These basic ingredients are useful in a lot of different recipes and have long shelf lives.
Quick Tip #3: Stock up on shelf-stable foods, including basic baking ingredients, to ensure you don’t have to leave the house for food stuffs during inclement weather.
Turn Your Entryway into a Mudroom
‘Tis the season when umbrellas, ponchos, hats, scarves, mittens, boots, and galoshes pile up in the doorway. Before your front entryway becomes a cluttered mess and tripping hazard, consider small changes to turn your entryway into a makeshift mudroom.
Replace your indoor floor mat with a rubberized, weatherproof one and add a few boot trays for collecting wet items. Remove any table or decorative pieces and replace with a chair for changing shoes. Add a moisture absorbing, desiccant & dehumidifier to help RID the room of DAMPness (use as directed). Lastly, add a motion light to trigger anytime anyone is in the space to help visitors transition between indoors and outdoors more easily.
If outwear is typically cumbersome, plan for a small, hidden storage compartment somewhere in the vicinity of the front door that takes care of the hats and gloves and other winter wear. Stackable storage ottomans serve double for stools and storage. A few removable hooks keeps coats and umbrellas off the floor and off the furniture.
If the area is too small to make adjustments, is it possible to change your primary entry during the winter months? If you have a second entry, like an attached garage or sliding glass door from the backyard, consider if making the switch is worth the effort to save the entryway for guests only.
Quick Tip #4: Winterize your entryway with rubber mats, boot trays, and a passive dehumidifier.
Quick Tip #5: Add removable hooks for additional outerwear needs and stackable storage for easily accessible cold-weather accessories.
If you make these preparations now, you’ll feel ready for inclement weather and your home will be safer and more comfortable throughout the fall and winter months.
Related Post: 7 Ways to Weatherproof Your Home for the Changing Seasons