In the warm days of spring and summer, it’s easy to forget that colder weather is on its way. Every year, winter seems to take us all by surprise, even when we’re desperate for the heat to end. But winter is coming.
You can prepare for it now and prevent problems, accidents, and insurance claims. Here’s what you need to know.
Check Your Roof and Chimney
In the winter, your roof presents two potential dangers: leaks and damage from snowfall and ice and fires from a clogged chimney. Both need to be inspected before winter really sets in.
- Repair damaged sections of your roof.
- Replace loose or missing tiles.
- Have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned.
Don’t let the snow and ice get in your home, and don’t let a fire get out of control.
Reduce Energy Use
Keeping the cold air out keeps your home warmer during the winter and reduces the energy you use and lowers your energy costs.
- Seal any cracks around your windows to keep cold air from seeping in and warm air from getting out.
- Take advantage of direct sunlight on windows. Open the shades when the sun is shining for the warmth, and close them once the sun moves to reduce the cool air.
- Reset your ceiling fans so they spin clockwise. This helps move the warm air down into your home so you feel the warmth and don’t need to adjust your thermostat as much.
Service Your HVAC for Winter
The last thing you want is for a faulty furnace or heat pump to create miserably cold conditions in your home. It might not be true, but it always feels like the heat goes out on the coldest day of the year. Have your heating system serviced now before the really cold weather arrives. This helps catch and fix any problems before they become big headaches.
Put an Emergency Kit in Your Vehicle
No one wants to imagine being stuck on the side of the road when it’s snowing or the roads are icy, but it can happen. While you may never need it, it’s a good idea to put an emergency kit in your trunk. Make sure you have enough supplies to help you get through the cold:
- Flashlight with working batteries
- Rope for towing
- Small shovel
- First aid kit
- Extra clothing
- Water and snacks
Get Your Vehicle Winter-Ready
Get your vehicle serviced in preparation for winter. This will help reduce your chances being stuck on the road and potential accidents. Get a tune-up and have the oil replaced with winter oil. Your brakes should also be checked for wear and tear. You don’t want them going out on icy roads. Antifreeze and the winter-ready windshield wiper fluid should be added to your vehicle. You’ll also need to have your windshield wipers and lights checked. When visibility goes down, they both need to work so you can see and be seen.
Check Your Vehicle’s Heat and Defrost
Not only should your car be warm while you drive, you also need to be able to see clearly. If your heating and defrost don’t work properly, you may put yourself and others in unnecessary danger. If needed, have the cabin filter changed during your winter tune-up.
No matter how much of a hurry you’re in, don’t pull out of your driveway during the winter until you can see clearly. Warm your car up early or wait until it’s ready. It’s much better to be late for work than to get into an accident on icy, wintry roads.
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Winter storms cause a lot of damage, to your home and out on the road. Before you’re snowed under, make sure you have enough coverage for any potential accidents that might happen in your home or on the road.
You should have enough home insurance coverage to fully rebuild your home after a catastrophic accident. If it’s been a few years since you thought about your insurance limits, you might not have enough coverage, especially as home values and home building costs rise.
You need enough auto insurance coverage to cover any accident you may cause, whether it’s a one-car fender-bender or a multi-car pile-up with injuries. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, now is the time to add it to your auto insurance. During the winter not all accidents are with other drivers, and you need coverage that can get you back on the road.
For all the beauty of crisp, clear mornings and even snow, it’s easy to forget that the ice and snow bring their own potential dangers and accidents. You can’t prevent every accident, but you can prepare for them. When you’re ready to review your auto and home insurance coverage, contact Charlotte Insurance.