Guardian Cold Weather Guide

When temperatures drop, the way you manage your home changes. In the middle of your busy life, it can be hard to remember what changes you need to make with the weather, but no fear! We’ve compiled a list of things to keep on your list if the temperatures are below freezing in your neck of the woods.

Temperature

angry customer on the phoneManaging Energy Costs is a Priority
This winter, temperatures have been bouncing back and forth like a yo-yo. This can make it particularly difficult to keep your home a comfortable temperature. Even when the temperature is consistent, most people have higher costs for heating in the winter, so trying to mitigate that can be frustrating and difficult. A 2015 study found that 40% of people who own a programmable thermostat don’t use the programming functions.

thermotsat.jpg

Programmable Thermostats Offer Options and Challenges
Programming your thermostat decreases your energy use. Since heating and cooling is the process in your home that, on average, uses the most energy, it’s a big deal if you can improve the efficiency. It is a myth that keeping the temperature in your house the same temperature all day/night is most efficient. A schedule that allows your system to work less when you don’t need the heat can save energy.

iphone-control-thermostat

A Smart Thermostat Is Ideal for Yo-Yo Temperatures
Programmable thermostats can be confusing, however, and can be less helpful with yo-yo temperatures. This is where a smart thermostat can make your life easier.  This can allow you to set up rules that control your thermostat depending on the temperature outside and on whether you are home or not. You can also make any changes on the fly from your internet-connected smartphone.

Frozen Pipes

flooded-houseFrozen Pipes Can Be Costly
Frozen pipes caused 18% of water damage insurance claims studied by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Losses from this issue, however, are approximately twice as severe as the other causes of water damage. Frozen pipes are more than just annoying, they can cause damage that is difficult and expensive to remedy.

What You Can Do to Prevent Freezing
There are some preventative steps you can take at any time, like insulating your pipes and sealing any openings to the exterior that lets cool air into the house. The other way to prevent freezing pipes is to let your water drip when the temperature drops. Depending on how well insulated your pipes are and where they are located, they may be likely to freeze. When temperatures are very low, you should take this precaution. If you’re away from home, you can still be notified by text or email notifications that the temperature has dropped.

low-tempature-sensor

Add a Low Temperature Sensor
Low temperature sensors notify you if the temperature drops below 45% in the area the sensor is placed. This way you will know what is going on at home and can take

Carbon Monoxide Risks

carbon-monoxide-detectorCarbon Monoxide Poisonings are Higher in Winter
Carbon Monoxide is called a silent killer for a reason. The gas can be deadly, but you may not even know that it is building up in your home since the symptoms of poisoning mimic the symptoms of a common flu. Issues with heating equipment can cause a buildup of CO in the home, meaning that the winter months see an increase in poisonings and deaths.

carbon-monoxide-alert.jpgCarbon Monoxide Detectors Help Save Lives
Install a CO detector and frequently replace the batteries. Detectors should be replaced every five years or sooner; be sure to read your manufacturer’s recommendation for this. Monitored carbon monoxide detectors add some additional help because a monitoring center will be alerted and it can notify authorities if CO levels are dangerously high in your home.

Travel

Black Couple Piggyback on Beach“Snow Bird” Travelling is Growing in Popularity
Many people travel during the winter to a warmer climate. Leaving your home during the winter can cause extra safety and security concerns. It’s important to make sure that the home is winterized during travel and that precautions have been taken to prevent pipes from freezing, as discussed above. If you are a winter traveler, it’s helpful to have someone who can stop in regularly to check on your home and make it look lived-in.

home-automation-lightSecurity Precautions are Important While Travelling
Many winter travelers leave their homes for months at a time. It can become obvious that your home is unoccupied. A security system can add additional peace of mind to a winter traveler’s life so that the house can be controlled from the mobile app. Adding smart home devices into the mix means that you can also control lighting, temperature and more from the mobile app. This makes taking security precautions easy anywhere you have internet access, which is particularly ideal for travelers.

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