When you own a home, it’s all too easy for winter to sneak up on you. This year, ensure peace of mind by making sure your house and property are prepared for cold weather. Each of these important indoor and outdoor maintenance steps can be done while it’s still autumn, saving you significant time and money later on.
Clean the gutters
After the surrounding trees have shed the last of their leaves, thoroughly clean out your home’s gutters and downspouts. If they’re old and worn, consider replacing them as well. When the weather gets cold and wet, clogged gutters can cause flooding and damage that won’t be cheap to fix.
Make exterior repairs
Inspect the exterior of your house, including the roof, siding, and foundation. If any of these need some attention or some patching up, don’t wait until winter to do the work or hire an expert to take care of it. You’ll have a much easier time doing this during the fall.
Turn off exterior faucets
If your house or garage has any outdoor faucets, shut off the water and drain them before cold weather arrives. Otherwise, you could have frozen or burst pipes to worry about. While you’re at it, disconnect and store any attached hoses so they’ll be in good condition when spring arrives.
Weatherstrip the windows
Drafty windows are a prime culprit for home energy loss, especially in cold weather. Stop energy loss, reduce your heating bills and make your house cozier by checking your windows for drafts and weatherstripping them as necessary. You can also add weatherstripping to any doors that need it.
Replace the furnace filter
You should change your furnace filter according to the manufacturer’s schedule, but autumn is a good time to catch up if you’ve fallen behind. If your filters are dirty, the furnace won’t be able to heat your house as effectively this winter.
Inspect the chimney and fireplace
If you have a chimney and fireplace, get them professionally cleaned this fall to ward off fires and help them work more effectively. You should also check the chimney flashing and flue to make sure they’re in good shape.
Invest in safety
Use autumn as an opportunity to invest in your home’s safety. Test all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and install new batteries if they’re needed. You may also want to consider purchasing a home fire extinguisher or buying a new one if the old one is out of date.
Maintain tools and replenish supplies
Fall is the best time to test your snow blower to make sure it’s running properly. It’s also the best time to stock up on items like snow shovels, ice scrapers, and sidewalk ice melt, and car emergency supplies. When everyone else is fighting for the last shovel the night before a big blizzard, you’ll already have everything you need.
Homeownership may be a never-ending job, but taking these steps before winter arrives will help make it easier for you — and make your home a more relaxing place to live in the process.