|Prepare for winter now so you don't pay for it later!|
With these beautiful fall days it’s hard to believe that brutal winter weather will soon be here. It’s important to take the time to prepare your home for winter now in order to prevent costly and difficult repairs during the winter months. Prepare now so you don’t pay for it later!
Heating systems can run constantly throughout the winter season. Have a qualified heating technician inspect your furnace and perform any required maintenance before you turn on your heat for the first time this winter. Remember to clean your filters monthly to help your furnace run more efficiently and improve airflow. This can save you energy and prevent a high heating bill.
Locate Air Leaks
Cold air can seep in around windows and underneath doors, allowing warm air to escape. Incoming drafts can waste 5% - 30% of your energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It is important to check your home for any air leaks before the winter chill approaches. Caulk where needed, install weather stripping around doors and windows, ensure door sweeps seal properly and consider adding storm doors and windows.
Gutters can get clogged with leaves and debris from fall. This can result in standing water that freezes in cold temperatures and eventually forces its way up under the roof shingles and into your house. Take a few hours this fall to clean out your gutters, and prevent the need for unnecessary and expensive roof repairs down the road.
Allow faucets to drain and remember to unhook all outdoor hoses to prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing. Insulate water pipes by wrapping them in a blanket of foam insulation. This includes pipes in areas of the home that are not heated, such as the basement or attic. This will help minimize the possibility of water freezing which can cause the pipes to burst and potentially flood your home.
Reverse Ceiling Fan
Reversing your ceiling fan is a simple way to prep your home for winter. Counter-clockwise fan rotation results in cooler air being pushed down in the warmer seasons, while clock-wise rotation channels warmer air downward in the winter.
Don’t put off your chimney maintenance before using your wood-burning fireplace. Blockages and buildup can lead to dangerous conditions such as insufficient ventilation and fires. Call a qualified chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney. Yearly maintenance will ensure your unit works safely and efficiently throughout the winter.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
One of the most important steps in winterizing your home is also one of the easiest: Put fresh batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Test smoke alarms by actually wafting a bit of smoke past them, not just pressing the "test" button, and remember that detecting devices should be replaced every ten years.
Winter can be tough on your bank account and your home. Prepare now for the cold months ahead and stay safe, stress-free and warm this winter.
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