Winter is approaching quickly. Now is the time to prepare the home for cold temperatures and extreme conditions. It’s easy to put these tasks off, but a person shouldn’t do so. It’s best to complete preparations while the temperatures are warm, as nobody wants to be outside when it is extremely cold and the wind is blowing or snow is coming down. What steps should every person take to ensure their home is ready?
Have the HVAC System Serviced
When the temperature drops outdoors, families need a working heater. Have the HVAC system serviced in the fall to ensure it is ready for cold weather. The unit needs to be serviced a minimum of once a year by a professional to prevent issues and ensure any problems are caught early.
Don’t wait until it gets cold outside to call for this service. Doing so could mean a delay of several days because of high demand. Technicians do everything they can to meet the needs of customers, but they are in limited supply. Give them a break by calling early to have the work done.
Clean the Gutters
Take a few hours to remove any debris from the gutters, or call and have the pros do this work. Any debris in the gutters can lead to snow and ice building up on the roof. When the snow and ice melt, water may make its way into the home where it can cause significant damage in little time. Don’t overlook the downspouts when completing this task, as any blockage in the downspouts can lead to problems with the entire gutter system.
Weatherproof the Home
Fall is an excellent time to check the home and see if all weatherstripping is in place. Any leak or draft will increase heating bills and leave occupants of the home uncomfortable if the heating system cannot keep up.
Check doors and windows to ensure the caulk, foam, or weatherstripping remains in place. Seal windows that won’t be used with a window insulator kit or bubble wrap, and install a storm door to minimize heat loss at the entryway.
Check the insulation in the attic to ensure it is adequate, as ceiling heat loss can drastically affect the interior temperature of the home. Consider replacing poorly insulated doors with Energy Star-rated doors. In addition, add curtains to windows to help keep heat within the home.
Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
People keep their homes closed tight during the winter months to keep the cold air out. This limits the amount of fresh air coming into the home, which means the likelihood of dangerous gases building up in the home increases. As heating systems dry the air in the home, the risk of fire also increases.
Reduce the risk of either happening by testing smoke and carbon detectors in the home to ensure they work properly. With these devices, occupants of the home are alerted to problems early, so steps can be taken to resolve the problem and minimize any damage.
These are only a few of the many tasks that should be completed to prepare the home for winter. Complete them in the coming days or pay professionals to do the work. Being proactive in this area actually saves the homeowner money in the long run. In addition, being prepared for cold weather protects the owner’s investment in the home, so these tasks should never be put off.
Published by HOLR Magazine.