Summer has ended and we are now into Fall. Do you know what that means? There are important preparations to make! Yes, of course, you need to rake, and bake, and make costumes, and shop for the holidays. But isn’t there something you’re forgetting?
You need to prepare your home for winter weather! Those of us in Connecticut have seen unusual weather this year: earthquake, tornados, hurricane, not to mention feet of snow… and 2011 isn’t over. I hate to think how much snow we’ll get this year.
Here are several things you might want to do before winter sets in and why you should do them:
Have your heating system cleaned and tuned up for winter
Why? It may seem counterintuitive. How can paying for a tune-up save you money? For starters, it’s much more expensive to replace or repair a furnace. And, obstructions and dirty vents can reduce your energy savings. That’s not to mention the dangers of carbon-monoxide poisoning. Check to see if your utility offers a free annual checkup.
Seal up any drafts from windows or doors.
Why? Leaks cost you money, every day, every minute that your furnace is running. Our front door developed a crack in the wood that we repaired to seal up the draft. If you need to replace windows and doors, check to see what energy tax credits are available to you.
How do you check for drafts? Here’s a fun trick: Have someone aim a hair dryer from outside while you hold a lighted candle inside – carefully! If the flame moves or goes out, you know you have a heat leak.
Have your roof inspected for leaks before the snow piles up (we should have done this last year)
Why? Learn from my failure. You don’t want to deal with a roof repair in winter. Trust me on this.
Have your chimney inspected.
Why? Chimney bricks are more exposed to the elements and quicker to crack than the bricks on your walls. They’re also difficult to repair in winter because the cement mixture that holds them together needs to dry. You don’t want to cope with water damage in February when it can be prevented with an inspection in October.
Trim trees and bushes (or remove them)
Why? What do you see after every single snow storm? Photos of damaged property from fallen limbs and trees. Taking care of dead or weak branches can help protect your home.
Let me know what you are planning on doing for your home.