There’s a chill in the air and the shorter days and cooler weather all point to one thing: it’s time to winterize your home!
Luckily, our mild climate doesn’t require heavy-duty winterizing that occurs for our northern neighbors. But let’s take a look at a few simple projects that you can do today that may save heartache and hassle later!
1. Clean the gutters
It seems simple, but sometimes we avoid it, or do an incomplete cleaning. The leaves fall for a long time during the season and even if you cleaned your gutters before our first big storm, it may be worthwhile to take another look. Water needs a clear path to run so make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear.
While you are cleaning your gutters—or hiring a pro to tackle the job-- look for areas where gutters are loose and may have torn away from the house. Clean, well-secured gutters are essential to keeping water away from your home.
2. Check smoke detectors
Pure and simple, smoke and carbon detectors save lives. Fall is a great time to install new batteries in your smoke detector and ensure your family’s continued safety. And remember, if your alarm chirps, it’s a sure sign that the battery is low, so replace it right away.
If your detectors are a decade old, it’s time to consider swapping them for newer models.
3. Hire a chimney sweep
Before lighting a fire, it’s a great idea to have your chimney checked. A Chimney sweep can remove soot and other chemicals that can built up in your fireplace, check for cracked tiles and assess exterior damage in the masonry.
Not only can a chimney sweep make sure that your winter fires burn safely, but a well-performing fireplace can also actually save money and help your fireplace function more efficiently.
4. Perform furnace maintenance
Getting chilly in the house? It’s a great idea to perform regular maintenance on your furnace to be sure that it runs at peak efficiency. So, before hitting the ‘on’ switch, call a furnace maintenance professional. An additional benefit includes changing filters which can reduce allergens in the home.
5. Assess windows and doors
Is it feeling a little drafty in your home? Check those doors and windows! Did you know that heat lost through doors and windows and account for up to 30 percent of home energy use?
Look for cracks or gaps in the exterior caulking, assess seals around exterior door and add caulking or weather stripping as needed. These DIY fixes and really help, but it’s a great idea to consider a professional energy assessment to provide additional insights This service is offered by most local utility companies free of charge!
A few hours or winterproofing can make your home comfy, cozy and safe all winter long!