The proper preparation of your home for the cold winter months the lie ahead can ensure that your heating bills will be lowered, your home will be protected from storm damage and potential worries will be dispatched. Preparing your home for the winter months should only take a day or two at most of your time, and the associated costs should be minimal if issues are addressed personally. While some preparatory measure do have a cost attached that cannot be avoided, it is foolish to overstep the boundaries of skill and common sense in the futile attempt to save a few bucks. If certain tasks require a licensed professional or are dangerous in any manner, pay a qualified individual to perform them and go have a cup of coffee while experiencing that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you made the right call.
Start to prepare your home for winter by taking a good look at the physical layout of the yard. Check for tree limbs that may break off in a high wind or heavy snow or ice storm and either remove them or call a professional. Put away any decorative items or lightweight outdoor furniture that may become projectiles in a wind gust and thereby damage your home.
Check the exterior of your home itself by examining the roof and flashing. Roofing shingles or flashing that is in poor condition will only become worse with the addition of thousands of pounds of ice and snow, and December is the wrong time to begin an emergency repair job. These issues should be addressed as soon as they are discovered. Gutters should be cleaned and free of debris before the snow flies, if not, they can be pulled from the home by the weight of snow and ice.
Windows, window frames, doors and door frames should be caulked to prevent the escape of heat. This should be completed in fall, before insects have a chance to infest your home looking for a warm winter hideout.
Contact a reputable local furnace contractor to perform a routine furnace inspection. This will not only save money on repairs later, but will enable your home heating system to perform at it’s maximum capacity. This is also a good time to clean your ducts to remove the dust that has accumulated over the months when the furnace was not in operation. Duct cleaning can be performed fairly well by using a shop vacuum and a considerable length of hose, just vacuuming the ducts.
If approached as a family project, the aforementioned tasks can easily be completed in a day, and are a good lesson for youngsters in the area of home ownership