Summer may be a great time for getting on top of home improvement projects, but the work shouldn’t stop when fall comes. Autumn is actually one of the best times of the year to get projects done. The cooler weather makes it easier to be outdoors and it’s the perfect in-between seasons to prepare your home for colder weather. Put these tasks on your to-do list so that you can relax and stay cozy all winter.
Check Your Heat
When the weather is still warm, you aren’t thinking about turning your heater on. Regardless of when you plan to turn on your heat, you should check your heater before you need it. That way, you won’t experience any unpleasant surprises when the temperatures drop.
Once you know that the heat is working properly, check your air filters. If you have central air, you should be changing them every 30-90 days (depending on how heavily you rely on your HVAC and whether or not you have pets). If you have a furnace, install a fresh filter. Change it every two to four months throughout the season.
Scheduling regular maintenance for your HVAC system can ensure that you’re prepared for cold temperatures. The professionals at Elite Air know what to look for when it comes to optimizing your heating and cooling system. Having your unit and ductwork checked before winter comes can save you from dealing with hassles later in the year.
Clean Your Gutters
You should always keep your gutters clean to make sure that water drains properly and flows away from your home and foundation. This task is even more important in the winter.
When gutters are full, water has no place to go. Once that water freezes, ice can build up at the edge of the roof. Once the temperatures rise and the ice melts, it won’t have anywhere to go. That means that it could end up seeping into your roof and causing moisture damage.
If you’ve had problems with ice dams in the past, you can take more preventative measures. Adding a heated cable along the eaves can prevent ice from forming in the first place. Installing snow slides can prevent ice from attaching to the roof. Finally, just make sure your gutters are clean and in good condition before the snow starts to fall.
Check for Air Leaks
While you’re up there, inspect areas on and near the roof that may allow the warm air in your home to escape. Seal areas around the chimney, vent pipes, exhaust fans and attic hatches.
Old windows are responsible for 25-30% of residential energy loss. Check your doors and windows to see if you have a draft by placing a lit candle nearby. If the flame flickers or goes out, you probably need to repair or replace your door or windows. Another easy way to prep your home for winter is to seal windows and doors. You can also replace any old or worn weather stripping, and add caulk around windows.
If you have older windows or doors, consider replacing them. They may not be keeping the heat in efficiently. Air leaks can significantly raise your power bill in the winter.
Inspect the Fireplace
If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, make sure that it’s in working condition before you enjoy the cozy flame. Soot and residue that builds up inside the chimney can be a fire hazard. A professional chimney sweep can clean your chimney and remove this.
Make sure that the flue closes completely. If it doesn’t, the heated air inside of your home can leak out quickly. Glass fireplace doors can also help prevent drafts from cold air that seeps down the chimney.
The water that gets trapped in your pipes can freeze in extremely cold weather. Because water expands when it’s frozen, frozen water can burst your pipes. Water that builds up behind a block of ice can also cause your pipes to burst. If this happens, you could have to deal with major water damage.
Protect your pipes by draining water from outdoor spigots and sprinkler systems. Disconnect all hoses from the faucets. Use foam insulation to cover spigots. You should also insulate the pipes that extend through any unheated parts of your home, such as the attic, garage, or basement.
Make sure that your home is set up to handle winter weather. Contact our team online or at (609) 581-8282 today to schedule HVAC services, air quality services, and other home comfort solutions!