I love fall. It’s such a beautiful time of year here in Western NY. But, there is always a feeling of foreboding – you know that winter will soon be here. So, it’s time to get your home ready for the inevitable. There are many ways to lessen the impact of the brutal weather on your home. Especially in older homes, there are a lot of ways you can help make them more energy efficient and less likely for mechanical breakdowns during the cold months. Here you will find some tips for easy ways to prepare:
- It is important to keep your gutter clean of debris and make sure the downspouts are attached and directed away from the home.
- Take a look at your windows and doors. Put down your storm windows and repair or replace any weather stripping that has come off. Preventing drafts is important in energy savings.
- Replace the filter in your furnace and consider having a heating professional come out to clean and inspect it.
- Do you have a programable thermostat? This is a great way to save money on your heating bill!
- Locate and know how to turn off your main water shut-off valve just in case your pipes freeze and burst.
- Ensure that pipes are well insulated to prevent bursting and also shut off and bleed water to any outdoor spigots.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace and use it regularly, call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. An annual cleaning is recommended for fireplaces that are used very frequently. Every two years is sufficient for infrequently used fireplaces.
- Now is a great time to seed and fertilize your lawn.
- Inspect your trees for any dead branches or branches close to your home or power lines. Ice and snow that build up on these branches can cause damage to your home.