Fall is quickly settling in around the US; the morning air has a brisk chill and the days are shortening. Fall is full of delights, from carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, cozying up around bonfires and gazing in awe at the colorful foliage, but it also means winter is on the horizon. Don't let the good times of fall distract you from making sure your home is winter ready. Prepping for winter can help you save money, as well as ensure that everyone in the family will safely get through the winter season.
Here are some easy projects to tackle before Sunday Night Football:
- Inspect and clean gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to a plethora of hazards around the home, so remove any debris.
- Seal any gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk. This can help you save up to 10% on your monthly heating bill.
- Get on top of roof problems. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
- Repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps before the first frost. Any cracks over 1/8” should be sealed. Also look for and repair loose railings, uneven surfaces, and disintegrating asphalt.
- Drain and winterize outdoor faucets, as they are most susceptible to extremely cold weather, yet also one of the easiest to protect from freezing. You should also consider replacing the existing hose faucet with a freeze-proof faucet.
- Clean or replace dirty furnace filters. Clogged filters don’t allow heat to spread evenly throughout the home and can raise your heating bills. Get in the habit of cleaning the filters monthly, and replacing them regularly.
- Schedule a professional to inspect your heating system. Have a standing appointment with a local company to check your heating system before late fall to avoid the rush,
- Same goes for a gas heating system – get it checked by a professional before winter settles in.
- Conduct a home safety check. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of fire hazards. Check your home and car first aid kits. Replace expired items and ensure it has the proper items to cover any emergencies your family may face.
- Maintain your washer and dryer by replacing rubber hoses with steel-jacketed ones and vinyl ducts with metals ones.
- The National Fire Protection Association recommends having chimneys swept at the beginning of winter to remove soot and debris. Find a certified sweep in your area via the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Winter will be here before you know it! Enter the season with peace of mind.