With October in full swing, homeowners are starting to get into the fall spirit. Cooler weather is drawing near, and now is the time to start preparing your home for the frigid temperatures that lie ahead. Here are five tips to prepare your home for a safe and comfortable fall and winter season.
1. Clean your gutters. As the fall season begins, the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees. Gutters are bound to get some extra debris, and could potentially get clogged. To prevent this pain, inspect your home’s roof and gutter system. Ensure that gutters are cleared, or go a step further and install a mesh guard to prevent build-up.
2. Inspect your roof. Make sure that your roof is in good shape. Look for missing and loose shingles. Ice, rain, snow, and wind, along with frequently changing temperatures can cause significant damage to your roof. Your roof is your first defense in protecting your home. It’s better to proactively deal with repairs in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during a snowstorm.
3. Remove Window A/C Units. If you use window air conditioning units, now is the time to either remove them from your windows, or purchase and install a protective insulated cover that not only shields the unit from harsh weather, but helps to insulate your home. Make sure this cover fits tightly around the AC unit.
4. Test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The State of Wisconsin requires that all residences are equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A detector can alert you to odorless carbon monoxide emitted from furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and other gas-fired appliances. For more carbon monoxide safety tips click here.
5. Seal cracks around doors and windows. Check your home’s door and window insulation to ensure heat is not leaking out. Why run a heater this fall and winter if it won’t be warming your home? Homeowners end up spending more, because the unit will need to work overtime for lost air. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10% of the heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.