How to Prepare your Fall Home for Winter’s Return
Whether it is snowing in your place of the world, or the warmer temperatures are just beginning to taper off, winter will be officially here in a few months. With colder temperatures also comes rising energy bills, drafty doors and windows, and heating our homes becomes priority. Have you thought about what you can do now, to save money and energy in few months? Use these helpful tips to get a jump start on winterizing your home, so you can spend time in front of the fireplace as opposed to in a cold home.
- Assess your home now for energy leaks: Now is the best time to determine where energy leaks are occurring. Whether they are air seeping from underneath your doors or around your windows, replace weather stripping and caulk around all penetrations. Under your exterior doors, ensure door sweeps are sealing properly. Consider having your electric company perform an energy audit of your home. You may be losing heat through loose baseboards, poor insulation in your attic, or through poorly sealed heating ducts throughout your home. An energy audit will help you locate the energy-sucking culprits!
- Have your furnace/fireplace checked: The main source of heat in your home should be in good working condition and checked by a professional. Your furnace should have the ducts, heating elements, and filters changed regularly. Take the time now to clean out your fireplace of old soot and ashes, and hire a chimney sweeper to clean out the chimney and. Consider inspecting the roof and around the chimney for flashing damage so there will be no surprise leaks from rain or snow through the chimney! Also make sure wire netting is placed at the top of the chimney so debris, rodents and birds don’t enter into your fireplace. If you live in a climate that is still able to enjoy the outdoors, ensure your outdoor fireplace is cleaned and maintained each season as well.
- Walk around the exterior of your home: The exterior of your home tends to be forgotten about in the wintertime and now is the time to inspect it. Inspect gutters and downspouts to ensure they are clean and rid of leaves. Repair broken downspouts and ensure splash blocks on the ground are diverted away from the foundation. Check for broken screens and/or replace with winter glass components. Depending on how cold it gets in your climate, consider stocking up on gravel, salt, etc… and stock in your garage for icy driveway and walkways.
- Repair and clean: Similarly to spring cleaning when your home has been sitting dormant all winter, fall cleanup prepares your home for the winter season as well as ensures that all components are in good working order. Repair any cracks in your foundation, pressure wash exterior brick and concrete, and get mechanical equipment serviced. If you have a snow blower or other mechanical equipment used for the winter, take it to an authorized repair dealer in your area. Clean out your garage, storage shed, and areas used to house tools. Check your snow shovels, and other tools to see if they need replacing from last winter.
While you can still enjoy your autumn weather, don’t get too comfortable in thinking it will stick around long. Use these helpful tips to save energy, money, and keep your family safe and warm during the winter months. You wouldn’t send your child to school without a jacket in a snowstorm, don’t start the winter without performing maintenance on your home for the upcoming winter season. After all, you still want to be able to enjoy those warm nights in your home, right? Get going then!