Home maintenance is not usually on the list of fun end-of-summer festivities. After all, who wants to take the time to do house chores when there are ice skating rinks and holiday parties to attend. And yet, if we don’t put in the work it takes to prepare our homes for colder weather, we might have to put in a lot more work later if something goes terribly wrong. So for the homeowner who wants to take care of their home so they can enjoy the cooler temperatures, here are a few tips that will help you prepare your home in no time.
Although most people will immediately begin making a checklist of things they need to do inside the house, we often forget that our garages and sheds will need a little attention as well. Before cold weather sets in, pay attention to the buildings around your home and clean out anything that’s been sitting there since last spring. And while you’re at it, take a little time to address the inside of your car; chances are it’s received a fair amount of foot traffic over the summer. Before all those dead leaves begin to find their way inside your vehicle, consider picking up a car-friendly vacuum (one that’s focused on detailing) to help you along. However, like any important purchase, it’s a good idea to search around online for reviews and write-ups.
Airflow and Vents
While you are preparing your house for cold weather, it would be a great time to take a look at the air filters to see if it’s time to replace them. Typically air filters should be changed more than once a year, so while you are purchasing some, you can buy a few extra to have them n hand for the next time you need to replace them. Keeping the home dusted, vacuumed, and pet dander-free might help them last a little longer. These little changes will likely make a difference in the air quality of the house.
If your home is built above a crawl space or if you have vents outside of your home on the ground level, you may want to keep them closed. This will help keep the warmth on the inside of the home. Also, check the weather stripping lining the windows and doorways. Make sure it is intact and secure so that the heat stays inside of the house. You can also check your electrical sockets to make sure cold air isn’t rushing in and fill the space behind the electrical box with foam insulation to prevent a draft.
As the air turns a bit cooler it might be a good time to let your heating system complete a test run. You can even call a technician and have your heating system inspected to make sure it is in good working order so you can avoid a problem.
And if you use your fireplace to keep your home nice and cozy, you should have that inspected as well. Chimney fires are a real threat to families and their homes, so it’s important to keep it clean to prevent disaster. Hire a professional chimney and fireplace cleaning service to do the job, but keep in mind that it can be costly. However, that price might be worth the peace of mind it provides.
During the colder months of the time, pipes have a tendency to burst. To help avoid that issue, make sure all of your home’s pipes are well-insulated, and reposition outside pipes if necessary. On nights when the temperature drops, allow the faucets to drip slightly. If you have a hose connected to an outside valve, disconnect it, let it drain, and store it in a warmer area such as a shed or garage.
It might come as a surprise to you that fire alarms should actually be tested once a month and replaced every 10 years. If it’s been awhile since your last test, there’s no time like the present to make sure all of your alarms are in good condition. You should also test your carbon monoxide detectors and ensure the batteries still work. You may also need to check the batteries in your thermostat to make sure everything is working at it’s best. It wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra batteries on hand in case you need them for any of these systems.
All of the home maintenance tasks we complete during the colder months of the year help our homes to be cozy and safe places for the incoming cold temperatures. These simple tips can help give you a little peace of mind while you are ramping up for the busy holiday season. This year and every year, prepare your home with all the comfort that the season brings.
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