The way we use our homes can change throughout the seasons. With fall among us, it’s a good time to start thinking about preparing our homes for the cold months to come. Take our simple DIY tips below:
Keep the heat in your home. Many homeowners turn off their furnaces during the summer to offset heating costs. As you turn those furnaces back on, take a look at your furnace filter to see if it needs to be replaced, and ensure your home’s humidifier is functioning at the right setting.
Take some time to think about boosting the energy efficiency of your home. Check your attic to ensure you have adequate insulation. Check the weatherstripping on your doors to ensure no cold air is making its way in. Remove window air-conditioning units if you have one. If you have to leave them in, cover the exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep the cold air out. A trained professional can assess your home’s current energy efficiency and make any recommendations as required.
Clean those gutters. Once the leaves have fallen off the trees, it’s a good time to clear out downspouts and gutters from your house. If left clogged, water won’t drain properly and you run the risk of damages occurring to your roof or siding.
Sprinkler system: Ensure you get any excess water blown out of your lawn or garden’s sprinkler system before winter freeze-up. You can hire a professional to do this, or do it yourself with the proper equipment. It’s also a good idea to ensure your garden hoses are drained, wrapped up and put away and your exterior hose bibs are shut off tightly. If you have a pressure washer, make sure to put it away it someplace heated to ensure water lines don’t freeze up.
Unwelcome the critters: Seal off any gaps where mice, squirrels or other rodents could enter your home, garage or garden shed. They only need the tiniest space to get in and right now is the time they’re looking to shack up for the winter.
Landscape: Ensure your trees and shrubs are ready for the snowfall. Fall is the perfect time to trim out any dead trees on your property. Again, this is something that can always be left to a professional if arboriculture isn’t your thing.
Walk the walks: Have a good look around to repair any damaged sidewalks, driveway, and steps. Stock up on proper ice melter for these areas and ensure you have a good, sturdy shovel to clear the snow once it falls.
Fireplaces: For those of you lucky enough to have a real wood-burning fireplace, fall is a good time to get your chimney cleaned. Failure to do this important task can result in built-up creosote which can cause dangerous chimney fires. If your home is equipped with a gas fireplace, have it inspected by a pro.
Your home is your family’s security blanket. It’s important to keep it safe. Conduct a home safety check and test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.