Now that summer is behind us, and fall (and don’t forget daylight savings tonight) is upon us, our thoughts should turn to turn to preparing for snowfall and winter, and there are a few things we should do to our home to get ready.
Is your home drafty? Air leaks around doors and windows are one of the primary sources for energy loss in a home ~ and energy loss means money loss. But there are things you can do to check for and eliminate those leaks. Begin with a visual inspection, both inside and out. Outside, look for areas where the old caulking has deteriorated, showing a gap between the window or door frame and your home’s siding. Most of the time, caulking will easily seal the gaps. Look for daylight under and around each exterior door, and add weather stripping where you see light!
How are your furnace filters? Check the filters throughout the house to make sure they are clean so air can flow through them smoothly. According to Energystar.gov, the filters on your furnace likely need to be changed either once a month or once every three months, depending on the type you’re using.
How about your smoke detectors? Everyone knows that daylight savings time also means time to change out the batteries in your smoke detectors. While you’re at it, check and clean out your dryer vent at the same time, clearing any buildup of lint since this can cause a fire.
Do you have a fireplace or wood stove? The place where you actually want a fire in the winter, but also want to keep it safe,so inspect this area as well. Woodburning stoves and fireplaces need to be cleaned because of the potential for buildup of soot and creosote. Gas fireplaces should also be checked for debris and to make sure the chimney structure is secure with no cracks or crumbling mortar joints.
Once you’ve checked off this list, your home should be in good shape to get you through another fall and winter.