Fall is here and with the changing of seasons come the lush warm hues of leaves, seasonal décor and a reminder of the impending Winter chill. Days are shorter, temps are lower and its due time to prep our homes for the change of weather. Here are some tips to get your home ready for the next six months.
Feel the warmth.
Or at least be sure that you will when the freeze is knocking at your door. Conduct an inspection on your heating system. Your furnace, chimney, fireplace or central heating unit may require an HVAC professional to test for leaks, heating efficiency and carbon monoxide air safety. And since A/C may remain dormant throughout the next couple of seasons it’s best it goes into hibernation altogether. Window units should be removed and stored in a dry and neutral place. Central A/C units should be shut off including safety switches and from your home’s main electrical breaker panel. It is also recommended to partially cover your central A/C unit to protect it from moisture and debris. Try using a tarp and bungee cords. Setting programmable thermostats to lower automatically at night will also greatly save on energy costs.
Air leaks are culprits for chills and higher energy bills and you’ll want to be sure that they’re sealed (caulked) before the temperatures truly drop. If you’ve lived in your home for some time you’re probably familiar as to where you might find some drafts. If not, here are some common places air leaks: entryway door frames, window frames, wiring holes (TV, phones, electrical outlets) and dryer or bathroom vents. After you’ve sealed up all of your drafty areas an additional easy way to retain heat within your home is with window treatments such as shades, drapes or curtains.
Secure the perimeter.
Take a walk around your home and keep an eye out for any cracks or holes that may need repair. Keep in mind that we’re not the only ones wanting to stay warm. Animals and critters will also find any way to get into your home so you’ll want to seal those entryways to keep them at bay.
Try and inspect your roof by looking up or using some binoculars to spot any missing, damaged or loose shingles that may also need repair. Additionally, you’ll want to take this opportunity to prune any trees that may bring additional moisture to your roof or prevent damage during high winds.
Another area that may need some clearing are gutters. Clean out any built up leaves, debris or nests along with checking for leaks. Be sure that downspouts are also cleared of obstructions. Extensions are recommended for the colder months so water is redirected away from the foundation of your home, walkways or driveways.
If you have a pathway, take a walk up and down checking for any cracks along the way that need to be filled. Cracks may fill with water and freeze in cold temperatures and can increase in size causing a bigger crack to deal with later. Sprinkler or irrigation systems and hoses should be drained to prevent from freezing. Disconnect hoses from outside faucets as well as shutting off water valves and store hoses in a dry place until Spring.
Preparing your home for Fall and Winter may call for some professional assistance but when you’re soaking up the heat instead of the cold it will all be well worth it.
Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle Tip.