Preparing Your Home for Winter: Timing is everything.

October 10, 2013    Homeowner Tips

GENERAL:

  • Time to adjust any automatic timers for lights, sprinklers and drip systems.
  • It's also a good time to change up the schedule to give that "random" effect of someone being home - especially if you travel.
  • Any trips planned? Make sure to mark a reminder on your calendar to stop service for newspaper or ask a neighbor to get your mail.

HEATING:

  • Make certain your heating vents are vacuumed out and clear of obstacles. This includes intake vents, as well.
  • Replace your furnace’s air filter.
  • Test your thermostat by setting it to heat mode and turn it on. Does it kick on? Do you feel warm air blowing through the vents?
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms, making certain they are in good working order. Now would be a good time to invest in a CO alarm if you don’t have one.
  • Clean out and cover your air conditioning unit.
  • Inspect your chimney! Is the flue damper open? Can you get it closed? If you have a wood burning fireplace, when you light a newspaper in the chimney with the damper in the open position, does the smoke rise up your chimney?
  • Check the weatherstripping on the sides and bottoms of doors. If you see light through them, then it’s time to replace it.
  • Check your windows for drafts. If you find any, rope caulking can be a quick fix.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans, if possible. This helps create a downdraft, pushing the warm air that has risen back down.
  • Sealing your home can go a long way toward keeping your electric bill down to reasonable levels during the darker and colder winter months.

OUTDOORS:

  • Are there any tree branches or hedges that are obstructing views?
  • Make certain your garage door is in good working order, and that you can open it manually. Test manual operation before you get stuck inside.
  • Test your landscape lighting and switch out to energy efficient bulbs. When it gets darker ealier, good lighting can help keep you safe.
  • Are there any loose bricks or stepping stones that may be a hazard, especially in the dark?
  • How about those rain gutters? You can easily test them by running the hose through them to make sure there are no blockages.

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