Fall is here – with its beautiful foliage and crisp breezes. Our mums and pumpkins were on point for Halloween, and now our fall wreaths are in place in time for Thanksgiving. Cool weather brings out the fun, festive decorations –that’s about all you need to do to prepare of the year’s nicest season. But, Old Man Winter is starting to make his way towards us. Here’s a few things to do this month – and every year at this time – to prepare and protect your home from winter’s wrath.
Dodge the drafts and clean the gutters:
- Drafts can waste up to 30 percent of your energy use.
- Check around recessed lighting, windows and door frames, electrical outlets.
- Buy – or make – door sweeps and caulk around other drafty spots.
- Wait until most of the leaves are on the ground, and give the gutters a thorough cleaning.
- Once winter’s rains and snows start, leaves and other debris not cleaned out can clog drains, seeping into the house or backing up on the roof.
- Take those piles of leaves, and after the kids have had all the fun they can stand, either remove them or mulch them for your grass or flowerbeds.
- Fall’s fallen leaves provide many nutrients back to the earth, but avoid a large pile collecting in one area – a rainy winter can produce moldy leaves.
Check the furnace and clean out the ducts and fireplace:
- Do a complete check of your furnace – before it gets cold and you need it.
- Consider investing in an annual inspection and tuning of your furnace by a professional.
- Replace pinched duct pipes, fix gaps with a metal-backed tape.
- Vacuum ducts every few years.
- Chimneys should at least be inspected every year before use. Additionally, sweep it out at least annually as well.
- Take this time to replace all air filters. Your family will be inside much more during winter, and good, clean air will help limit bacteria.
Check all house alarms:
- While this won’t really help winterize your home, it is a good time to get into the habit of checking – and changing the batteries – on your home’s smoke detectors.
- Invest in carbon-monoxide detectors as well, or test the ones you have.
If your home is new (or just built by us!), your checklist to get your home ready really will only consist of the natural elements outside. However, if you currently live in an older home, be sure to take a day before the bitter cold gets here to secure your home. We have great relationships with lots of wonderful guttering, HVAC, chimney and fireplace vendors who we’d be happy to recommend to you to help prepare you for the upcoming season. Contact us anytime for advice or information!