6 months ago
When fall rolls around, that means it's time to pull out your favorite sweaters, buy pumpkin spice everything, and prepare your home for winter. Doing the right maintenance for your home now will mean less repair work -- and less money spent -- in the spring. Here are a few important things you'll want to do before the temperatures take a plunge.
This is one of the best things you can do for your home at the start of the cold season. Your furnace has been off all summer long, and as HomeAdvisor explains, it will need some attention before it starts the hard work of heating your home in the winter. During its dormant months, dirt and dust can collect in the system and parts can start to break down. That can be bad news for your heating system when it starts back up in cooler temperatures.
A trained technician can complete a thorough inspection of the furnace. They will check all the parts to ensure they are in good working order. If they need to replace a part, it's usually a quick job done at minimal expense. They can also clean the system so less dust and dirt blow into your home when the system kicks on. Taking this winterizing step will help your furnace work smoothly through the winter, meaning you'll avoid costly service calls later on (and a furnace that breaks down when the temperatures really start to plunge!).
One thing you can do is replace your furnace filter. A dirty filter is hard on your furnace and will amp up your energy use, and your heating bills along with it. In the long run, it can also extend the unit’s lifespan.
You invest too much money on outdoor furniture, toys, and equipment to let the snow ruin it. So when you are done using that gear for the summer, you'll want to correctly store it to keep it safe for spring. For outdoor furniture, bag the cushions, stow them in a weatherproof box, and wipe down the furniture with your favorite cleaning product and a soft rag. Then cover the outdoor furniture with a canvas cover (if you have one) or large garbage bags (if you don't). That will keep the moisture and dirt off of them and keep them clean and safe throughout the winter months.
You can repeat a similar process with toys and gardening equipment. Store it all in a shed, garage, or basement to protect it from the elements. Clearing porches and patios of unnecessary gear will also make it easier to clear snow off of them when it starts to come down.
Your gutters are likely to get full of debris over the spring and summer months as storms send of leaves, branches, and dirt into them. Cleaning that out of your gutters is a vital part of protecting your home from winter weather. That's especially true if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain or snow in the winter months.
Clogged gutters can send melting snow or rain onto your roof or down the walls of your home, instead of safely disposing it away from your home. The roof and walls are where water can start to cause damage. Water damage spreads quickly and can result in a big repair bill. So take time to clean your gutters out by removing all the debris and then flushing the downspouts to make sure they are clear. If your gutters tend to accumulate a lot of debris, Family Handyman notes adding gutter guards can cut your workload.
Take an extra step towards winterization and trim back your landscaping, too. That way heavy snows don't end up snapping branches and sending them into your gutters or doing damage to your roof.
These tips will get you started on winterizing your home. Doing a little work now will save you a lot of work later on. Once you've completed your winterizing list, you'll be able to snuggle in and wait for spring to arrive.
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