I know, I know - the season just changed a few weeks ago to Fall but NOW is the time to get your home ready for the winter so you aren't left out in the cold. Yes, pun intended! ;) Winters can be brutal regardless of where you live in the country but just a few small steps can help get you through winter both safe and warm.
- It is a good idea to have your heating unit checked now. Have a professional come out an perform a preventative maintenance routine on your system to be sure it is operating in top condition and is as efficient as possible.
- While you SHOULD be changing you air filters throughout the house in regular intervals go ahead and add it to a Fall Maintenance checklist - it doesn't hurt to double check them and start a schedule of when you change them. A great tip is to use a Sharpie and actually mark on the filter frame when you install a fresh one.
- If you have a fireplace NOW is the time to have a professional chimney sweep to come out and perform routine maintenance and to have your chimney cleaned.
- Replace your warm weather window screens with storm windows which will add another layer of insulation during the cold months.
- Check all door and windows to be sure they are closing properly and have tight seals. You may need to invest a few dollars for some caulk if you are finding air seeping in.
- While you have the caulk go ahead and check all of your plumbing fixtures in your bathrooms like shower heads and faucets. You want to be sure there are no gaps between the fixture and the wall where warm air can escape AND no water can seep into the walls/floors.
- After that last warm afternoon in the Fall when you mow the grass be sure to use ALL gas in the lawn equipment. You do NOT want to store any lawn equipment with gas left in it.
- Clean out all gutters and downspouts to prevent leaf and debris buildup. It would be a great time to install gutter guards if you don't already have them.
- Check all under house plumbing pipes if you have a crawlspace to be sure there is adequate insulation.
- Check your attic space! Be sure that there is no attic insulation covering vents and that all vents are free from debris.
- Ceiling fans? Be sure to reverse their direction for the winter months. By doing so you will reverse the air flow thereby pulling the warm air up and mixing it into the room.
- Don't forget your thermostat - 68-72 degrees should be just fine. By turning your thermostat down by just a degree or two overnight and while you are away will also help to keep heating costs down.
I don't know about you but I am super-excited that Winter is almost and yes, I am strange, I LOVE Winter! I will be prepared for Winter and I hope with the above checklist that you will be, too!