Labor Day has come and gone and true to form, today I saw my first “pumpkin flavored” sighting. While it isn’t officially autumn until September 22, let’s face it…for all intents and purposes, it is autumn. The weather will begin to cool down, leaves will begin to turn gorgeous colors, school has started & soon we will have a new season of our favorite TV shows. And as we begin to swap out our summer closets for winter ones, we have to be aware that we also have to prepare our homes.
Prepping our homes for the colder months is generally more about preventative measures than it is anything. With fireplaces & furnaces warming up our insides and rain & snow soaking our outsides, we must make sure that we are not only safe, but we are also being energy-efficient. Because keeping warm and toasty during these harsher months can be a huge budget-buster if we aren’t careful.
When it comes to the exterior of a home, climbing up on the roof for a quick check-up is a must. Clean out those rain gutters every so often to make sure falling leaves and debris isn’t clogging the drainage system. Flooding will only lead to problems with your roofing. Speaking of which, check your roof for any cracked, warped or problematic shingles and have them replaced. If you’re handy with the home improvements, this will be a piece of cake. If you aren’t, there are professionals that can take care of it for you. Take a look at any skylights, chimneys, windows & doors you have for damages that have developed over the past handful of months. Fixing any damage and replacing flawed weather stripping is a must. Cool air entering your home through one of these cracks will not only make your place impossible to keep warm, but will also make your energy bills skyrocket trying to do so. Lastly, for those of us that live in some of the more frozen climates, turn off those hose bib valves and drain your exterior water pipes to prevent the water currently in there from freezing during those harsher months and bursting on you. That is one expense that is tremendous but easily prevented.
That leads us to your home’s interior. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned. If you use a furnace or other type of heater, have all of those filters cleaned. Having a licensed heating contractor inspect your heating system will help prevent fires, or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning. Yikes. And similar to exterior pipes, if you use a hot water system to keep warm, drain the expansion tank and bleed the radiator. Wrapping pipes that are located close to the exterior of the house with heating tape is also a great idea to prevent freezing. They may be located inside, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Nothing can ruin a holiday season like a house full of frozen pipes.
And there you have it. A quick energy-saving guide to prepare your home for those chilly days and ensure you and yours have a snuggly winter season.
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