You've probably heard the joke that you know you're from North Carolina if you've ever had to wear a winter coat, gloves, and a scarf in the morning, but you end up in jeans and a t-shirt that same afternoon.
Most of North Carolina is blessed with some pretty moderate temperatures, though. Still, the cold months are coming for Clemmons. December is almost here, and for the next three months, our low temperatures will average in the low thirties. While it doesn't get as cold here in Clemmons as it does in, say, New York or Minnesota, it does behoove you to prepare your Clemmons, NC homes for the cold weather.
Drain the Pipes
The first thing you should do to prepare for the cold North Carolina weather is to protect your pipes. Yes, our average low is above freezing, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of icy nights in the winter. Water freezes when it expands, which can cause your water pipes to crack or burst.
Drain any water from your outside faucet and sprinkler system. Drain and store your hose. Cover your outside faucets with insulators. In fact, make sure pipes that go through unheated areas like attics and garages are insulated as well. And just in case you do spring a leak, know in advance where your shutoff valve is and make sure you have any necessary tools to shut it off.
You should replace your filters every month anyway, but your heater will be working extra hard in the winter. Dust and animal fur will clog up your filters, reducing the amount of air being sucked into the system.
Use your fans, too! A lot of people don't realize this, but you can reverse the direction of your fans, making them go clockwise with the flip of a switch to help circulate the warm air.
If you plan on using your fireplace, have a cleaner come out to make sure it's not stopped up with soot or critters. If you don't plan to warm up by the fire, make sure to close your flue all the way to keep heat inside the house.
Finally, consider installing a programmable thermostat so you can use less heat when you're sleeping or you're not at home. Some new thermostats can actually learn your habits or let you control them remotely with an app on your phone.
Gutters, Windows, and Doors
Cleaning out your gutters might not sound like a big deal, but stopped up gutters lead to ice dams, and when those melt they'll go into any leaks you might have in your roof, and we probably don't have to tell you how bad water damage can be for your home.
It would also help to make sure any soffit vents are clear. If you really want to make sure to avoid ice dams, you can install a heat cable on your eaves. Make sure to look for any places your house might leak heat and seal those too.
On that note, make sure to check the seals around your windows and doors. Caulk your windows and add weather stripping to your doors to help keep the heat in. If you've got the money, make sure to upgrade to double-pane windows (or even triple-pane windows) and add storm doors.
As we said at the beginning, winters in Clemmons, NC can be mild compared to other places in this country, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get cold here. Make sure to prepare for the cold weather so you can stay warm without running up your energy bill or worrying about damage to your Clemmons, NC homes.