Keep Your Home Warm
Now that fall has arrived, around the corner will be winter. With the freezing temperatures approaching, no longer will we be able to casually come and go as we please. Soon we will migrate to the indoors in hope to keep us warm. Before that happens, now is the time to prepare your home for the cold months to come. I know… just what you wanted to hear.
This article provides not only preventative measures and maintenance tips, but will also help save you money.
Clean your gutters
This is not one of those fun chores to do, but a necessary maintenance.
Purpose of gutters is to divert rain water away from your home. Water backing up either on the roof or on the ground next to the foundation could cause big problems and costs.
Think preventative maintenance and clean those gutters!
Professionals should be called when doing chimney cleaning.
There are several things to look for and unless you know what you are doing, a professional is recommended not only for cleaning but for inspection.
Tune up furnace
Yearly maintenance is a must for your HVAC system.
Air filter cleaning or replacement can easily be done yourself. But, once a year a professional should be called for an inspection. Keep in mind, lots of gas and electric companies have a service and protection plan. Paying a few more dollars a month for such a plan can save big money.
Check with your local company whether or not they have a plan.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Replace batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year.
Weather strip and caulk
Outside temperatures should be kept outside.
Nobody likes a drafty home. Not only does it make your feet cold it also puts a squeeze on your checkbook.
Most common places where drafts finds a opening are windows and doors, outlets and switches, baseboards/crown moldings and trim.
Make sure you seal any cracks or openings to keep the heat in and the cold out. Use weather-stripping for doors and windows to ensure they are air-tight. You can buy gaskets to put behind switches and outlets. Don’t forget to caulk where trim meets wall.
For more common air leaks in homes read the Top 10 Air Leaks In Homes article and most important, make sure you implement sealing of these areas.
Reverse the ceiling fan
During the winter you should put your ceiling fan in reverse or clockwise and run on low speed.
In theory, this helps pull up warm air and pushes it down along the outside walls. You want to minimize wind movement to keep you from feeling the wind chill effect.
Install storm windows
Replace or install storm windows. This is a must if your windows is only single pane.
Wrap water pipes
Nothing can be more frustrating than your water pipes freezing or worse, bursting.
Wrap the entire pipe ensuring none of the pipe is exposed; including t-joints and corners. If the water pipes are exposed to outside air, like in a crawl space or garage, heat tape may be needed.
When it comes to your home, there is always something to do. Routine maintenance is less work than trying to bring back to life a neglected home. So, keep your head held high prepare your home for winter and good luck!
A home is an investment. Take good care of it and it will take care of you.