With the first day of fall behind us we are beginning to see the leaves change colors on the trees and it can only mean one thing-fall is officially here and winter will fast be upon us. What this translates to for most homeowners is that we are trying to finish out all of our ‘good weather’ projects and prep for a long winter before the actual onset of cold weather sets in.
The long list of things to get prepared starts to fill out your to-do sheet: Filling up the propane or heating oil tank, stocking up on wood or pellets, calling the chimney sweep, cleaning the gutters, having the furnace serviced/inspected, cleaning out the gutters, checking the roof, inspecting the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are in proper working order, and it goes on.
Here are some tips and tricks to better prepare your home for the cold winter weather season:
-Check to see if your ceiling fan(s) have a reverse direction for the blade movement so that they would turn clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. The clockwise rotation of the blades forces the warm air down (and since warm air rises this will help your home feel warmer).
-Drain your lawn sprinkler system and air conditioner.
-Thirty percent of cold air that leaks into your home comes through holes where electrical conduits, vents and pipes run through floors, walls and ceilings. Inspect these places to ensure that you are not letting cold air come in.
-Wrap your plumbing pipes to avoid the possibility of water freezing in them.
-Did you know that 10 percent of the air that leaks out of your home does so through doors and windows? Make sure that your doors and windows have weather stripping and caulk around them to eliminate the possibility of air leakage.
-If you don’t have ‘frost-proof’ exterior faucets then be sure to turn off faucets that are no longer needed to prevent the chance of freezing and pipes bursting.
-Clean out or change the air filter on your furnace so that it can be more efficient.
-Prepare your landscaping by bringing more sensitive potted plants in to a sheltered area.
-Aerate and fertilize the lawn.
-Drain the gas out of your lawnmower.
-Cover or put away the patio furniture.
Follow these simple tips to winter-proof your home and be sure to get stocked up on all of the cold weather essentials that you need.