Prepare Your Home for Winter with These Tips

Prepare Your Home for Winter with These Tips

iStock_000011009284XSmallThe weather is finally getting cooler, which means one thing: it’s time to ready your home for winter! Fall is a fantastic time to get your fireplace in good working order and make other preparations for the cooler months ahead. Here are some tips to keep in mind!

Make Your Windows Air-Tight: The fall is a great time to make sure your home is properly insulated, and this includes checking your window frames and doors for air leakage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home owners lose about 10 percent of air through the windows. Fortunately, a tube of caulking and weatherstripping are inexpensive fixes that can help you save money on your heating and air conditioning bills.

Hire a Chimney Sweep: Chimney sweeps aren’t just figments from childhood imagination thanks to Mary Poppins. If you plan to use your wood-burning fireplace during the winter months, now is a great time to hire a chimney sweep who can clean and inspect it. Creosote forms in your chimney, and the sticky and smelly substance is highly flammable. You could have a chimney fire if you don’t clean it out, so make the investment of time and money before you’re itching to sit by the fire.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan: Did you know that your ceiling fan can spin in one of two ways? There should be a switch on the base that allows you to reverse the direction. In the winter, you want your ceiling fan to spin clockwise so it pushes warm air down. In warmer months, make sure you switch it back the other way.

Wash Your Windows: “Washing windows is my favorite household chore,” said no one ever. It’s a tedious job, but the fall and spring are perfect times to clean your windows and help them s shine. This project also gives you an opportunity to check for cracks and damage to caulking, which could lead to leaks when it rains.

Clean the Gutters: During the winter when it tends to rain more, you need to make sure your gutters are able to properly expel their contents. Fallen leaves and debris can clog up your gutters, so make sure you flush your gutters and downspouts with a hose to clear them.