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tips to help homeowners prepare their house for winter

Oh no. Fall is just around the corner. Where did the year go? That thought just popped into your head when you realize that it's only a few months until Winter. With Fall peaking its head around the corner, it is vital that you get your home in shape, especially when Winter will be here in a blink of an eye. 

If you're panicking right now because you think you won't get any home improvement repairs done in time, don't worry. You can still do a few things to ensure that your home will be able to battle the upcoming seasons. Here are four tasks to ensure that your home is Fall ready. 

 

Make Sure Your Home is Properly Insulated

Probably one of the repairs on your list was getting your roof repaired. But, it's still something you can do. Making sure that your home has proper insulation can help your home no matter what season. It can help keep your home cool in summer and warm in the winter. However, an extra task is to insulate your hot water pipes. Covering any exposed pipes can help keep the water in your pipes hotter for longer, which could also help prevent your pipes from freezing. According to Energy Saving Trust, insulating your pipes can also help you save money on your energy bills while keeping your home warm.

 

Get Your Windows Repaired or Replaced

Along with your roofing, windows can also help improve your insulation and lower the chances of warmth getting out and cold getting in. There are many ways you can repair your windows. For instance, you can use insulation tape or weather strips to insulate your windows, keeping the heat in your home as the weather changes. But, you can choose to have your windows replaced. 

 

Inspect and Repair Your HVAC System

You use your heating, ventilation, and air cooling system all year. However, the longer you use it, the more likely it is to break down. That is something you do not want to happen, especially during a cold winter. So it's imperative that you have your HVAC and furnace systems inspected and ensure they are in good working order. Doing this can highlight any issues that might cause it to break down. This is important for furnaces since there is an extra added danger if you don't have your system checked. Fortunately, some services can provide furnace, heating and cooling parts if you need to repair them. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a repair service to help you. 

 

Replace Furnace Filters

One easy thing you can do in addition to simply looking at your HVAC system is to replace your furnace filters. Although most people only change their filter when it gets dirty or clogged up from debris like dirt and dust, it's important to replace your filters regularly. You should replace them every month at least. Your furnace depends on these filters for efficiency and safety reasons; if they are not replaced frequently enough, then it might cause serious damage in your home because of air pollution. Furnace filter replacements can help save you money every year since they will be effective at combating air pollution while also saving energy by maintaining a comfortable.

When shopping for new filters, consider your family's level of allergen tolerance as well as your location. Selecting a higher MERV level filter can help eliminate smoke, pollen, and pollutants from the outside as well as filter the inside air as well. While they can be more expensive, the results may be worthwhile.

 

Check Your Air Vents For Damage, Clogs, or Obstructions 

It's also a good idea to check the air vents and exhaust ports. Make sure that they aren't clogged with any debris, which could restrict air flow. Sometimes you may even find that birds or other animals have created nests here during the summer. The first step is a quick visual inspection to make sure that the flap that covers the exhaust isn't broken or obstructed. Next you should consider probing it to remove lint, dust or other obstructions.

You can do this by using a vacuum cleaner and making sure that it doesn't struggle getting through the vent. There are also duct cleaning brushes that you can buy to clean them as well. If you have a blower door test kit, you can use it to further measure your home's airtightness .

Of course, it might be a better idea to have a professional do this instead. This task is important because having your vents cleaned regularly will extend the life of your HVAC system as well as help keep your indoor air quality at its best. 

Not only will checking your air vents help to improve furnace efficiency and reduce the likelihood of fires but it can also help ensure that animals don't seek out this warm area as a way to enter your home.

 

Clear Your Gutters And Remove Any Debris

Your gutters help ensure that water, debris, and clutter are cleared from your roof, especially after extreme weather. However, sometimes it can get blocked. If your gutter becomes blocked, it could stop water from draining, resulting in water damage to your roof and decreasing your roof's lifespan, which could impact your home's insulation and cause mold and leaking. Cleaning your gutter should prevent this from happening.

These are just four tasks that you can do to get your home ready for Fall. You can do some of these tasks yourself or get in touch with local professionals to help you. Whatever you choose, keep your home nice and toasty this Fall, and you won't have to worry about Winter.

 

Seal Windows And Doorsills With Insulation Kits

While repairing or replacing windows is important to consider during fall, sealing gaps in windows and doorsills is important as well.

Throughout the year, your windows are exposed to dust, dirt, pollen, etc. and gaps can allow these pollutants to enter your home. However, it can also allow warm air in summer and cold air in winter to pass through as well. This will cause your home's temperature to drop once you turn on your heating or air cooling systems in fall.

However, there is a way you can prevent this from happening. Weather stripping is one of the most popular ways since it helps seal up any spaces between doors or windows and their frames. You can also opt to apply permanent window film to insulate your windows so that they don't lose as much heat through them but come at a higher cost. 

 

Clear Leaves And Debris From The Lawn

Clearing any leaves and debris from your lawn will make navigating it during the winter with snow easier. In addition to eliminating the chance of slipping on a rogue branch covered in snow, cleaning leaves will also help your grass grow more evenly in the spring once things begin to thaw.

However, if your yard has a lot of dead leaves and wood pieces from trees, you should consider hiring a professional landscaping service to take care of it instead.

 

Stage Important Winter Equipment So It Is Ready To Use

You know it will be coming ... snow and ice are right around the corner. In addition to looking at physical aspects of your home to prepare for winter, it is important to make sure that things such as salt, snow shovels and your snow blower are easily accessible.

Not only should you make sure that the equipment is accessible but check machines to make sure they are functioning properly. Once winter hits, your local repair guy is going to be swamped with snow blowers that need to be fixed. This means it will take more time and cost more money to get things working.

 

Don't Forget About Sheds and Detached Garages Too

Before Winter comes along, make sure that any sheds or outbuildings are water sealed and insulated as well. This will keep them warmer during the colder months and save on heating costs as a result. Fortunately most sheds come with their own doors that close tightly to help prevent leaks and they also have roofs which flip open to let rainwater flow off of them easier. However, sometimes these roofs aren't sealed well enough, which can result in water damage to your shed.

In addition to this, even when it isn't raining you should still consider checking these areas for any leaks and to see if their roofs are properly closed up. Also check around the base of the building where water will collect as well.

If there is a leak present, you can repair it yourself or call in someone else to help fix the issue. If your outbuildings are in need of insulation, then this will require hiring a professional.

When spring comes around again and your yard begins to warm up, having insulated sheds and outbuildings will allow them to stay warmer for longer periods of time as well without needing additional heating sources like expensive heaters. This means that you won't have to run these devices as much during times when energy prices are at their highest.

Keeping your home prepared for winter may seem like a lot of work but doing so can save you both money and time during the cold season ahead. Now that Fall has arrived, now is the time to pick up the pace and get ready for what lies ahead.

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