Taking the time now to prepare your home for the cold weather ensures comfort in the months ahead and saves you money as well. Consider these tips:
Test your heating system before you need it. -Some manufacturers suggest having systems inspected annually and doing it before the heating season begins can avert problems during the winter months. Replenish your fuel supply (wood, coal, oil or propane) before prices increase for the season.
Inspect your hot water heater. Refer to your owner's manual to determine what to check as these items will differ depending on the type of heater you use.
Insulate against drafts. This is one of the most important tasks you can do to ensure maximum comfort and energy efficiency. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic. Caulk or install weatherstripping around doors and windows and seal any cracks or openings that formed since last winter. Insulate electrical outlets and switch plates with plugs and insulation pads designed for such use. Clean and inspect wood and coal burning stoves. Make sure doors are properly sealed, the flue is in good condition and the chimney is clean. Drain outside water connections.
Drain and store hoses for the winter and disconnect outside water supplies to prevent frozen pipes. Test and clean smoke detectors. The use of portable heaters and other sources of supplementary heat dramatically increases the incidence of fire. Make certain all smoke and heat detectors are in proper working condition by testing or replacing the batteries and by cleaning units of and removing all dust particles.
Install Carbon Monoxide sensors. Especially if you use fossil fuels to heat your home. These fuel supplies can deplete oxygen in your home and kill you. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless odorless gas. To avoid Carbon Monoxide, "warm up" your cars out side of your garage and have your furnace inspected biannually.
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Hurricane Maria will likely come close enough to North Carolina to trigger gusty winds and rain, while unleashing dangerous seas elsewhere along the East Coast this week.
A cold front will spread needed rainfall across drought-stricken parts of eastern Australia during the middle of the week.
The cold front that is expected to whisk Hurricane Maria back out to sea after it nears North Carolina will trim the summerlike warmth out of the midwestern and northeastern United States this week.
Emergency officials in Puerto Rico evacuated tens of thousands of people on Friday afternoon due to an imminent dam failure in the nearby areas of Isabela and Quebradillas, following Hurricane Maria's devastating blow.
Tropical Storm Pilar is expected to churn up rough seas and raise the risk for flooding downpours across southwestern Mexico this week.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on the Indonesian island of Bali due to fears of Mount Agung potentially erupting.
Recent earthquakes near North Korea’s nuclear test site have raised questions as to how far radioactive material would travel if an underground atomic explosion triggers a leak.
While no new threats are lurking behind Maria and Lee this week, residents of the Caribbean and United States should not let their guard down as tropical season is far from over.