It may not be Winterfell, but you must prepare your home for the coming season.

Just as in the hit TV program, Game of Thrones, where King in the North Jon Snow must unite the other kingdoms to defeat the growing army of the dead who loom ever closer as a years-long winter approaches, so too must you defend your home from the dangers of the cold season. Luckily you have modern technology on your side, and your life doesn’t depend on the acquisition of Dragonglass. If modern technology isn’t on your side… perhaps its time to learn and mount

There are certain things you can’t put off until it’s too late. For instance, you don’t want to wait until AFTER an army of White Walkers has compromised The Wall before you dispatch your dragons, it kind of defeats the purpose.  Neither can you install storm windows when it’s already freezing outside. Preventative measures must always be taken. As the Night’s Watch teaches, you need to be PREPARED. winter is here 1024x768 - Winter is ComingEvery good pledge knows that FALL is the best time to prepare for the onslaught of freezing weather. Here are a number of tips to help you protect your home from potential cold weather demons…

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Check your heating. Don’t wait any later than the end of October to do it. Do a test run that consists of setting the thermostat to ‘heat’ mode and eighty degrees. In many homes, you can hear the furnace activate. After a few minutes you should also feel the warm air coming through the vents. If all is functioning normally, return the unit to the previous setting.

Naturally, you’ll want to inspect your wood burning fireplace and chimney as well. Best Online Cabinets has a good article detailing the essentials.  You don’t think twice about it when it’s warm, but the chimney can be a major reason why cold air leaks into the home among other adverse issues. Naturally, you’ll need to do an inspection before winter comes, you don’t want to find white walkers hiding in there. Also, check for bird nests, squirrels or other small animals. Confirm that the flue damper is operational, opening and closing with ease as well as locking into place in either position. Also, check the draft, be certain the shaft is clear and the smoke draws upward properly. Lock the damper in open position and test it by lighting some newspaper on fire. The smoke should rise without issue. If it doesn’t there is some sort of obstruction and you’ll need to call a professional chimney cleaner immediately.

Before the temperature comes close to freezing, you need to protect your pipes. Plumbing is prone to be affected by the cold, often causing the pipes to burst. First, you’ll need to locate and insulate the exposed pipes. They may be found in an attic, crawlspace, or outside walls, etc… at the very least wrap them in electrical heating tape and treat them with foam insulation.

And don’t forget to check your outside faucets. Drain the water from them, before turning off their supply from within the home. Disconnect any garden hoses that may be attached and drain them, as well.

Then there is the matter of cold chills coming from the doors and windows. Check them on a day that is windy and listen/feel for leaks. A good tool to use as an indicator is a stick of incense. When the smoke is blown in any certain direction, it is being affected by breeze. You’ll usually detect air leaks around the edges where the glass panel is hinged slides, or meets another window. Sure, you can tape plastic to the affected areas but it doesn’t look good. The preferred solution is cheap rope caulk. Press it into the area where the air is leaking. Meanwhile, confirm that the weather-stripping for all of your doors is intact and fully effective, repair or replace where needed.

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Of course, your roof is not impervious to the weather, either. You may want to hire an inspector to check it out and confirm it is good to go for the coming season. If you do it yourself remember – SAFETY FIRST – wear well-fastened shoes with non-skid soles. You don’t want to end up like poor Bran Stark. Check for missing or damaged shingles. Confirm there are no leaks around chimneys or other built-in roof projections. Repair where necessary. Always be certain that all gutters and downspouts are clear. If you leave wet leaves, you’re being ignorant. They will freeze, become heavy and pose a serious risk of damage to your gutters.pjiccc - Winter is Coming

Depending on the specific construction and landscaping, there are likely other things you can do to protect against the cold. Using your home as an example, seek out more preventative measures to safeguard your property. After all, it won’t be just a union of kingdoms that defends against the Long Winter, Sam Tarley’s Citadel research will surely be a defensive factor as well!