The lazy days are over and it’s time to get honest with yourself: summer is over. That means preparing yourself mentally to get back to work, but it also means preparing your home for fall too. As we know, the heat of summer gives way to quite the opposite when fall and winter arrive. To that end, there is much to be done when it comes to preparing ourselves and our property for the harsher seasons, and this handy home maintenance guide can get you started.
Begin with the Air You Breathe
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it’s odorless and difficult to detect, which is precisely why you need to ensure you have a functional carbon monoxide detector before fall arrives. Smoke detectors are equally important as carbon monoxide detectors, and it is possible to track down and install combination devices. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these devices can be, and often are, life savers.
A similar task that all home and apartment owners should complete in fall and before winter arrives is replacing air filters. We obviously rely on heaters, and tend to remain indoors for longer periods during the cool months, so ensuring the air we breathe clean is important to avoid allergens and to keep our heating and cooling systems running efficiently.
Prepare the Interior
HomeAdvisor offers a comprehensive, detailed guide to winter home maintenance, regarding both the interior and exterior of your abode. They advise how to inspect the heater/furnace, as this is perhaps the most important appliance to any household in a cold-weather region. They also recommend checking the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement, which could prevent cold drafts and save you lots of money on your heating bill.
Check windows and doors to ensure that they are properly sealed. If not, apply weather-stripping, use caulking, or take other necessary measures to ensure cold air does not seep in while hot air leaks out. Houzz offers lots of tips for preparing a home for the cold season, including how to go about properly insulating and sealing a home’s interior and exterior.
Consult an expert to check on your chimney. While you are likely capable of clearing debris, further inspection of the chimney’s interior should be left to the pros, as it is not an easy job. It’s worth spending a little extra to make sure the chimney is spick and span once the winter is here.
Check Your Home’s Exterior, too
Almost every fall and winter home preparation guide – including this one from the Huffington Post– advises that you check the exterior of your home for cracks and roof damage that could lead to leaks and infestations. Poor weather conditions can turn even the most minor of cracks into major problems, so tracking them down and filling them, as well as replacing damaged shingles, could save you a boatload of money and many a headache.
The Chicago Tribune details how to drain exterior pipes and utilize other methods to prevent them from freezing, which could be both costly and dangerous if you lose access to your water supply. These are the primary tasks which must be dealt with to ensure the outside of your home is prepared for fall and winter.
Most of us wish that summer would never end, but inevitably the seasons change, and fall turns into winter. As a homeowner, we have to be prepared for this seasonal change. That means taking precautions in both the interior and exterior of the home, checking safety equipment, and even stocking provisions for emergency and worst-case scenarios.