Winter is coming and we live in a state that can go from 85 degrees to freezing overnight. Because of this, getting prepared now will save you time, money and energy in the long run – not to mention that dreaded eye-roll and “I told you so” from your partner.
Clean Your Gutters.
The falling leaves in autumn are a beautiful sight, but when they clog your gutters and downspout it can become a real problem. Removing leaves and debris from your eavestrough will ensure that water can freely flow off the roof and away from the building. Neglecting this may cause the buildup of ice which can damage your roof and create a serious falling icicle hazard.
Check Your Furnace and Air Ducts
Having your air ducts cleaned before switching on the furnace will help remove all the dust and particles that have settled there throughout the year. This is especially a good idea for homes that support people who are more susceptible to breathing problems. Along with the health benefit, replacing the filters will increase efficiency and ultimately save you money in the end.
Window Insulation Film, Weather Stripping and Draft Guards
The loss of heat through windows can be a costing you a lot in extra heating bills, especially if you have an older home that has not had its windows recently updated. One way to combat this is to get a window insulation kit from your local hardware store. They are simple to install and can reduce heat loss by up to 70%. Inspect around the edges of all the windows and doors to ensure that everything is sealed tightly to prevent drafts and heat loss. If you do find some problem areas, usually some weather stripping or caulking can be used to seal small leaks and draft guards (or a rolled towel) can be used for larger leaks.
Inspect Your Chimney
If you use your chimney regularly, it is a good idea to have it cleaned using a sweeper, both for efficiency and safety reasons. Also, this is a great time to inspect the exterior for any cracks or damage and ensure that everything is water tight. If you do not use your chimney installing a chimney balloon will help prevent heat loss up the smoke stack.
Drain and Inspect Your Hot Water Heater
It’s important to drain your hot water heater to remove any buildup of debris that may have accumulated. It’s also a good idea to remove the heating elements and inspect them for any damage or hard water buildup. Doing this will greatly decrease the cost of running your hot water heater and improve its efficiency throughout the winter.