Now that summer has officially turned to autumn, the cooler days and chilly nights are here to stay. While the first stretch of these days can be a welcome relief from the warm summer, it won’t feel like relief when your heating bills start stacking up. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare your home to avoid some of the extra costs while keeping your home comfortable through the season. Though there are countless ways to do so, the right option will depend on your specific home. Here are some little things for you to make a big impact on how well your home keeps the cold out this winter.
Prep for the Cold
The first thing you should do when trying to get ready for the coming cold is to block the entry ways of the cold air coming into the house.
- Check the caulking and weatherstripping on your doors and windows, making any repairs needed
- Check the insulation in the attic and replace any that’s tattered or upgrade to a higher R value
- Inspect your roof for any signs of damage and repair any leaks or damaged shingles
- Look for cracks or damage on your windowpanes and the frames of the windows
- Store any window air conditioners or close their vents and cover them with an insulated cover
- Cover windows with a layer of thermal plastic on the inside using a heat gun or hair dryer to create the strongest barrier
- Place covers or sheets of insulation over crawl space doors and other areas where cold air can get under your house
These preparations should be done along with other regular winter prep you do such as using insulated pipe covers and covering outdoor pipes to prevent freezing.
Make Sure Everything Works
As well as checking and preventing drafts and leaks during the colder seasons, it’s important to make sure that your home’s heat source will run safely once temperatures drop.
- Clean your chimney and have it inspected if you have a fireplace that you plan to use for heating
- Test your furnace to be sure it is functioning properly
- Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure fire extinguishers are charged and within their effective dates
- Make sure that external vents for fuel-burning furnaces or heaters function properly
This is also a great time to be sure that all of your emergency supplies are in date, all your flashlights work and you have at least two ways to receive weather alerts in case there is a harsh winter.
Getting Ready for Winter
There are a few inspections that should really be done around this time of year, before the weather gets too chilly, the big ones being your roof and your heating source. Having the limbs that hang over or around your home is also a great thing to have checked as they could be a potential falling hazard during the winter.
If you need help getting quality contractors to get all of your inspections done, give us a call. We have a great list of people we’ve worked with that we would love to share with you. We are here to be your real estate resource for life.