With the arrival of fall weather, it is time to start preparing your home for colder temperatures and the beginnings of winter storms. In the Atlantic region, fall is still hurricane season. Maintaining storm preparedness is still an important part of the planning process, but addressing home heating systems and other areas in need of maintenance is a crucial part of preparing your home for colder seasons. A big part of this seasonal transition is inspecting home heating systems to ensure that they are in good condition and function reliably during increasingly cold temperatures. Assessing the furnace as well as other home heating appliances like portable heaters, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves is important to comfort and safety as the temperatures fall. Here are a few helpful fall home maintenance tips.
A lot of energy is consumed in the fall and early winter as furnaces kick in and outside temperatures turn cold during the early mornings and evenings. Making your home more energy efficient is an important part of preparing it for fall weather. This comes down to inspecting insulation,
sealing cracks and gaps in walls, weatherstripping doors and windows, and replacing inefficient appliances or components that could contribute to an increase in energy loss.
If your home retains heat poorly, you will spend more money heating your home and get less of the heat. If there is one essential maintenance tip to prepare for colder weather, insulating and sealing your home to retain energy is the best things you can do.Upgrade windows to double pane glass and make sure your attic is properly insulated to keep heat in the living quarters where you need it.
Making sure that home heating systems and appliances are in good working order is extremely important. You should inspect the furnace and make any necessary fixes now while temperatures are still moderate. The dead of winter is not a time when you want furnace trouble. Make sure alternative heating sources are in good working condition. For fireplaces and wood burning stoves, be sure to clean them and inspect them for problems.
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Wood fireplaces and stoves should be thoroughly cleaned of soot and debris. You should also have the chimney professionally cleaned to reduce the risk of chimney fires. Fireplaces are responsible for a lot of home fires each year, so taking safety precautions before regular use is important.
Preparing the exterior of your home and the yard for fall weather is important as well. Clearing leaves and other debris from gutters will ensure that water freely runs off the house and into the ground. As temperatures drop below freezing, having debris free gutters will help prevent ice dams from forming, although much of this involves ensuring that the attic is well insulated and ventilated. Make sure that the roof is in good condition for snow and ice. Check the wear on shingles and make any necessary repairs before winter. You may also want to trim back tree branches that are leaning against your windows or roof to prevent the excess weight from snow and ice affecting your home. Do the same for trees or branches that are encroaching on utility lines. You can typically call the utility company and have them do this for you if necessary.