Fall is here. What safeguarding steps can you take now to protect your home from the upcoming winter and save you money on electric bills?
Every winter, the cold, windy, wet weather damages thousands of homes. Don't let yours be one of them, it's the perfect time to prepare your home before winter's icy conditions arrive. Here are some safeguarding steps that you can take:
1. Let's start with the foundation. Make sure all foundation vents are secure so animals won't seek refuge under your house and wreak havoc on your duct work. The same goes for your attic , check your gable end vents and make sure squirrels can't come in and throw a party .
2. If you have a wood burning fireplace -It's a good idea to get your chimney professionally cleaned each year, birds sometime make nests in chimneys and you won't know until you light a fire and your house fills with smoke because the chimney is clogged.
3. For your safety, we do not recommend burning pine wood in your indoor fireplaces. Pine wood has resin in it which burns very hot and crackles. When burning, the wood will spit out flaming particles that could cause injury or damage to you and/or your home.
4. Make sure and keep your gutters free of debris. If ice builds up in gutters it can cause leaks in the roof.
5. Trim back all tree limbs and vegetation away from the house and HVAC unit.
6. Check all doors and windows for loose or deteriorating weather stripping and caulking, especially between wood and masonry. Weather stripping is pretty inexpensive and can save you money by keeping the heat inside and cold winds outside of the house. If you have gaps at the bottom of your doors, a rolled up towel works great to block out the cold.
7. Have your furnace and gas fireplace serviced by a licensed HVAC professional and Make sure you are changing your air filters every month.
8. Turn off any exterior plumbing connections and irrigation systems. Also do not leave hoses attached to outside spigots, this can cause the pipes to freeze and burst.
12. And last but not least, test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in case they need new batteries or to be replaced.
By doing these small things, you can save yourself some serious winter damage and hopefully keep your costs low .