The air outside is turning crisp. It is time to enjoy the splendors of autumn — falling leaves, cooler temperatures, apples, and pumpkins. Who doesn’t love this time of the year?
While enjoying the change of seasons can be fun, there is a bit of work that goes into this pre-winter cooldown. Take the time now to cover a few basics around your house to ensure that your family can enjoy a warm, cozy and problem-free winter.
Get Ready for Winter!
Winter is on the way and now’s the time to prepare. Not sure where to start? The experts at Hannah Custom Home & Remodeling have prepared this quick and easy fall maintenance checklist to make it easier than ever to get ready for the winter days ahead.
Free Your Filters
This is a simple, yet important, job when it comes to keeping your home’s temperature warm and cozy all winter long. Every furnace has a filter designed to trap dirt and dust before it is blown throughout your house. The problem is, this dust builds up on the filter, making it harder and harder for your furnace to do its job. Some estimates show that simply changing your filter every three months can cut energy costs up to ten percent!
Inspect the Chimney
Who doesn’t love cozying up to a crackling fire when the weather turns? Before you light that fire, be sure to have an expert chimney sweep inspect both the chimney and fireplace. Creosote is a dangerous byproduct produced by burning wood. It commonly builds up in the chimney and flue, and can ignite, causing a fire. Be sure to check regularly for any signs of creosote buildup in your flue and chimney. In addition, an annual inspection should also be done to ensure that:
- The flue is free of obstructions. Birds love to build nests inside of chimneys. Be sure to check seasonally for obstructions.
- The damper is working properly. Rust and corrosion can sometimes cause the damper to get stuck, which can cause serious issues when using the fireplace.
- The chimney is damage free. Bricks can come loose, or other problems may arise, which, if left unnoticed, can become a real danger to your home and family.
De-Gunk Your Gutters
The end of the fall season (after all of the leaves have fallen from the trees), is a good time to clear your gutters and downspouts of any leftover sticks, leaves, and other debris. Clogged gutters and downspouts can divert water flow, causing water in your basement, foundation erosion, wood rot, and even roof damage.
Stow Away Your Outdoor Equipment
Summer’s over and so are those warm weather chores (yippee!). But don’t risk your equipment by letting it sit out all winter long. Be sure to clean and store your lawn mower and other landscaping equipment somewhere safe during colder months. Of course, simply stacking everything in your shed or garage may not keep your items safe. It is important to clean them properly, drain gas from engines, and cover them properly to keep them working well.
Sure, winter in central Tennessee is usually pretty mild with average temperatures in the 50s, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for some colder temperatures. Be sure to drain your hoses and turn off the outside water faucets to keep your pipes safe from freezing during an unexpected cold snap.
Stop Those Leaks!
Imagine opening a window in the middle of winter and leaving it that way day and night throughout the harshest of weather. Well, if you don’t check your weather-stripping every autumn, the result may be exactly that!
One of the biggest energy drainers in today’s home is poor weather-stripping — adding hundreds to homeowner energy bills every year. It has been estimated that if you add up the smallest cracks in most homes, it would add up to that open window. But, simply sealing those cracks with the proper weather-stripping and caulk can make your home cozier and warmer — and save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars every single year!
Preparing your home this fall for the change of seasons is a great way to ensure that the winter months remain trouble free. For more maintenance advice, contact the professionals at Hannah Custom Homes & Remolding. They are ready and willing to lend you a hand getting ready for winter’s harsher weather.