How do you cope with short days and long nights characterized by a massive drop in temperatures? Winter is here and there is no way to avoid the chill. Preparations can, however, help to ensure you are warm, dry and safe.
The chimney should be inspected by an expert annually. This area tends to accumulate creosote as well as soot. There will also be cracks and birds’ nests to contend with. The risk of fire is a real one in the event a combusting log starts a chimney fire.
Poisonous fumes like carbon monoxide can find their way inside your house via blockages or cracks. The best option is to have the chimney checked not only on the inside but on the outside. Bricks become broken and the mortar can crumble leading to costly repairs.
Regarding fireplaces, the damper can take up lots of your space. If it does not close, open or seal, then you will be limited in terms of space. If you are not using it, always ensure that it is closed to prevent the warm air from escaping. The re-usable dampers, for instance, can let out air when they are supposed to be air tight. Watch out for any warping that may occur. A better alternative would be the use of chimney plugs that are not only re-usable but can also be inflated and seal the flue.
To make the seal in the fireplace invisible, use a decorative screen. You should do this when you intend to close it when off for the season.
A wood stockpile can make for a warm night, so make sure you stock some. Power breakouts can ruin your nights, so make sure you have some spare wood with you, and go for the fast-burning kind if you want to see less pollution such as smoke. It creates a viable source of radiant heat. The gas fireplace can be used instead but make sure to have it inspected to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dealing with the Gutter
Get rid of the garbage that gets in the way in winter. There are leaves and all manner of trash that can enter the eaves trough. Watch out for melting snow causing water back up in the roof and shingles.
Finally, have the furnace inspected to save on costs and energy.