In recent years, there’s been an exodus from warmer climates to colder ones as people search for cheaper living costs and new economic opportunities. Although making the move is a great way to shave a few thousand dollars off your rent or mortgage each month, there is extra work required to keep warm. If you’re moving to the cold for the first time, here are a few ways to find a new home, and successfully weather your first winter.
Check Your Insulation
Although you’re probably used to having a surplus of heat, during the winter warmth will be a precious resource that you’ll want to save at all costs. For that reason, ensure that the windows in your new home are double paneled and that the walls and attic are properly insulated. It’s also important to ensure that your doors are sealed in order to prevent heat loss or drafts.
Inspect the Fireplace
At this point, the only chimney sweep you’ve probably experienced is in the movie Mary Poppins. However, if you’ll be using a wood burning fireplace, it’s recommended that your chimney is swept at least once per year to ensure proper ventilation. It’s also important to check for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar in the chimney to prevent bugs or other creatures from making it their home.
Make Sure you Have Natural Light
During winter months when cloud coverage is thick, the lack of sunlight causes many to feel grey as seasonal depression sets in. If your windows aren’t large enough, you may find yourself sitting in the dark for weeks on end. So, make sure to pick a place where the sun’s rays will soak through, even when it’s overcast.
Investigate the Furnace
A working furnace will be your greatest asset when preparing for cold weather. So, before you move in, have your real estate agent show you where the furnace is. After finding it, turn on the heat and the blower to see if everything works properly. Also, check the filter, because it may need to be replaced before winter begins.
Consider Having Covered Parking
During the winter, it’s important to be able to park your car somewhere where it’ll be safe from the elements. On a freezing winter morning, the last thing you’ll want to do is dig your car out from under 3 feet of snow before you leave for work. Furthermore, covering your vehicle can save it from expensive dings and dents that occur from bad hail storms. So, if you’re moving into a new home, make sure it has a garage. If you’re looking at apartments instead, ask the landlord if there are covered parking spaces available. Although these might cost extra, the price is often worth it.
Hopefully, these cold climate survival tips help you find a place that’ll keep you cozy during your first winter. All properties and locations come with their own unique set of challenges, so definitely ask your realtor about each property and the climate. Once you find the perfect place, don’t be afraid to take extra measure to winterize it further. This way, by the time the cold comes, you won’t even realize that you’re in a new climate.