Summer is officially over and winter is just around the corner. Now is a good time to prepare your home for cooler temps and unpredictable weather conditions.
A Reader’s Digest article (via BobVila.com) provides a maintenance checklist for homeowners to use.
- Clear out the gutters.
Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipe and gutters to prevent clogging. In areas with cold winters, outdoor faucets should be drained in the fall.
- Clean the fireplace and chimney.
You can clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace yourself, but leave the chimney cleaning to a professional. Have the chimney cleaner check the damper to ensure it can be tightly closed to prevent drafts.
- Check the heating system.
Do a survey of your home’s heating vents to make sure they’re not blocked or covered by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Dust vents and clean all filters. Make an appointment for an annual heating system check-up.
- Store air conditioners.
If you have removable window air conditioners, be sure to unplug them before taking them down. Dust and clean before covering or storing.
- Check for drafts.
Stay warm, save energy, and reduce your heating bills this fall by examining windows and doors for cracks and sealing them to prevent drafts.
- Put up storm windows.
If you have removable screens, now’s the time to clean, store, and replace them with storm windows.
- Ready the water heater.
Prepare for cooler weather by draining the water heater and clearing out any debris that has settled in the tank.
Homeowners who check these maintenance items off their list are more likely to avoid inflated bills and inconvenient property damages during the winter months.