Now that we are deep into fall and winter is approaching, it’s time to prepare your home for the chilly weather ahead. As the coldness looms and you prepare to pump the heat, it’s important to protect your home from potential damage and address heat and energy leaks. These seven simple tasks will help you stay warm, safe and energy-conscious this winter.
- Reverse your ceiling fans: Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch, in which the blades will run clockwise after your turn on your heat. This helps to push the warmer air down, especially in rooms with high ceilings.
- Caulk around doors and windows: If there are gaps between your siding and windows or door frames, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best because it won’t shrink and will stand up to extreme weather.
- Clean the gutters: Water can back up in gutters that are full of debris, damaging the roof, siding, and trim, causing leaks and ice dams.
- Turn off exterior faucets: Remove hoses from the spigots and drain any water from the faucets. Turning off the shut-off valve inside your home is ideal and will help to keep your pipes from freezing.
- Check fireplace for drafts: If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted.
- Clean or replace the air filter: New air filters for your furnace can maximize efficiency and improve indoor air quality.
- Check out your roof: While cleaning out your gutters, take the time to examine your roof for damage and areas where water can sit and develop into ice.
A little bit of preparation now could mean the difference in a warm, cozy winter or a long, cold one; plus, these steps can lower your utility bills and protect your investment.
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