Even though we haven’t had too many freezing days so far this November, the memory of the harsh winter weather over the past couple of years is all too fresh in our memories. Preparing your home for the cold weather can seem like a daunting task which is why it is a great idea to make a list of tasks to get your home ready. The team at Auchinachie has compiled a list of the top 5 ways you can prepare your home this fall so you can rest easy in knowing you’re ready to take on the upcoming winter weather.
Inspect Your Windows and Doors
The seals along your windows and doors can be one of the biggest cold air leaks in your home. It is a great idea to inspect your seals to make sure your sealant is good and sound. If you detect a cold air leak, pick up some window and trim caulk at your local hardware store to fix any trouble areas. Are your windows over 15 years old? Consider calling a local window installer to get a quote on double or triple pane replacement windows with argon gas for a big boost in wintertime savings on your heating bill. If replacing your windows isn’t in your budget, you can buy a window insulator kit for under $20 at the hardware store to help keep out the cold.
Find Places for More Insulation
Insulation acts as your first line of defense against bitter cold temperatures. One of the biggest areas people sometimes overlook is the gap in your basement between the top of your foundation and your floor joists. Stuffing some extra insulation in this trouble area can certainly help shave a little bit off your heating bill each month. If you want to invest a little more in keeping the warmth in your home where it belongs, consider getting a quote on blown-in insulation in your attic area. Doing so can many times provide a double-digit increase in your home’s R-value.
Preparing the Outside of your Home
Taking the time to prepare the outside of your home will make your life much easier come spring. Be sure to winterize your lawn mower by cleaning the underside of the mower deck, adding a stabilizer to the gas tank, and spraying a little WD-40 on the blades. At the same time, it’s good to check your snow blower and either change the oil or add a little oil to the tank if needed. For your garden, you can add 3-4 inches of compost and turn the soil over. The late fall is a great time to spend a little time outdoors cleaning up your yard so there will be a few fewer items on your to-do list. If you have a big yard or lack the time to properly care for your landscape, you can always get a little help by calling a landscape contractor to give you a hand.
Check the Air Quality of your Home
If you’ve been through a Binghamton winter, you know that you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors whether you like it or not. Having great indoor air quality can mean the difference between a relaxing, cozy season inside and a miserable season of sneezing and coughing. One simple task you can perform yourself is changing out your furnace filter. If you feel like nothing seems to be working you can also schedule a professional duct cleaning to remove dust, mites, and allergens that have built up over the years. While you’re checking air quality it is a great time to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order with fresh batteries.
Have your Furnace Professionally Inspected and Serviced
You wouldn’t drive your car all winter knowing that you forgot to change your oil, would you? The same goes for your home heating system. Scheduling seasonal maintenance helps to ensure your home and your family are safe throughout the winter season. Routine furnace maintenance can also give you the peace-of-mind of knowing that if something does go wrong with your furnace, your warranty will have you covered.
Have Fun and be Safe this Winter Season!
The northeast winters are beautiful. There’s sledding with the grandkids, trips to Greek Peak for some downhill skiing, and many winter parades to welcome in the new season. By making sure the inside and outside of your home are in tip-top shape, you’ll have nothing to do but make great memories and enjoy the freshly falling snow from the comfort of your warm home.