With that winter chill already in the air, we thought it may be a good time to share a few tips on getting your home ready for the winter season. The last thing you want is to have an emergency service call in the middle of a snow storm or water leaking into your home during the holidays!
- Gutters – Clean out gutters and around downspouts/splash-blocks of leaves and debris. Water can dam up, clog and freeze if your gutters are full of leaves/debris causing possible leaks into your home. Plus, while you’re cleaning out the gutters, it’s a good time to tighten up any loose straps or fascia wrap!
- Hose Bibs/Water Pipes – Turn off outside hose bibs and drain after disconnecting hoses and storing them for the winter. Most turn-off valves are located inside a home in either the basement, crawl space, or inside the home in a closet or under a sink. If you plan on traveling for the holidays, shut off your main water valve before you go to avoid any running water from a toilet or busted pipe.
- Heating Systems – Fall/winter is also a good time to have your furnace, gas fireplace, and/or generator serviced to prevent being left out in the cold! As people are generally inside more during the winter months stirring up more dust, remember to change your furnace filter more frequently. This will help preserve the life of your system and make it run more efficiently, costing you less money!
- Insulation – Insulate any exposed pipes or in unheated areas! With climate change, we are experiencing colder temps in the winter. Many people had frozen pipes last year that busted causing water damage inside of homes. More insulation in the attic or basement can also help keep your heating bills down by trapping more heat where you want it – inside your home!
- Windows/Doors – Also, check around windows and doors for air leaks. Replacing some cracked caulking or weather-stripping around doors helps more than you think with heating bills.
- Fireplace/Woodstove – Say you like cozy fires? When was the last time you had your chimney or flue cleaned? Creosote can build up in the lining and cause a fire if you don’t have the chimney swept at regular intervals. Also, check and replace those batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, if you haven’t already done so. You don’t want to be unprepared!
A homeowner or tenant can do easily do a number of these things on their own with minimal time and cost, but some things will require you to hire a professional. However, they can all really pay off by helping preserve energy and keeping money where it belongs – in YOUR pocket!!