Prepare Your Home for Winter in Ohio and Kentucky

January 6, 2012

Winter has officially begun, which means it’s time to make sure your home is prepared for the bitter cold months ahead (if you haven’t already).

During the winter, we see some of our most severe weather conditions in Ohio and Kentucky. Therefore, it’s very important that you inspect your home as early in the season as possible to avoid having to make a claim on your home insurance policy.

Prevention is one of the best ways to keep your premiums low. So here are a few tips to help prepare your home for winter this year.

1) Inspect Your Heating System

Have a professional inspect your heating system to make sure it is working properly, and, if you have an alternative heating source, be sure it is UL approved and inspected before using.

The last thing you’d want is to have your heating system malfunction during the coldest day of the year. You’d be kicking yourself until spring finally rolled around.

2) Check Doors and Windows for Air Leaks

A well insulated home will help keep you and your family warm if you lose power, and it can save you money on your heating bills. Check for possible air leaks around doors and windows and seal electrical outlets and switches on outside walls to ensure your home can hold its heat.

3) Prepare an Emergency Kit for Power Outages

If the power does go out this winter, you may have limited access to food and medical attention for a period of time. Make sure your emergency kit includes non-perishable food, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, and a battery-operated radio.

4) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

Locate your water main in case you have to shut it off in an emergency, insulate any exposed plumbing pipes to avoid freezing, and, if you’re planning to take a vacation, make sure your home is heated to at least 55 degrees while you’re away.

5) Get Your Fireplace Ready

If you’re home has a fireplace, prepare it for the winter months by screening the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds, getting it cleaned by a professional chimney sweeper, and making sure you have a good supply of dry wood.

If the power does go out this winter, your fireplace could help keep you and your family warm for several days as long as you have enough fuel.

6) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Increased fireplace use means you’ll want to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed in every room of your home. Also, keep a few fire extinguishers for emergencies.

7) Stock Up on Winter-Specific Equipment

Snow shovels, ice choppers, ice-melt, sand—these are just a few of the items you’ll want to have available when the weather turns. Make sure you have these now so you don’t have to drive in dangerous weather conditions to resupply.

By preparing your home (and yourself) for winter, you can avoid a lot of the mayhem that winter can bring here in Ohio and Kentucky. Take a little time to make sure your home is fortified against the cold months, and make sure your home insurance policy is up-to-date in case something does go wrong.

If you’re not sure whether or not your home insurance policy is right for you, feel free to contact one of our Cincinnati, OH or Covington, KY insurance agents today for assistance. We’ll make sure you’re covered for the cold.

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