7 Ways to Prep Your Home for Fall and Winter
‘Tis the season to begin prepping your home for Fall and Winter.
While there are many small tasks and chores you can do to get your property ready for heavy snowfall and chilly temperatures, the Fall is the perfect season to work on bigger projects that will ultimately save you both stress and time once Winter comes.
It’s also important to ensure your home is Winter ready to prevent any serious accidents or issues you may find pricey to fix (and a pain to deal with!).
Clean your chimney
If you plan on using your indoor fireplace this Fall and/or Winter, you’ll need to make sure your chimney is clean. When chimneys have build up or even rodents living in them (which is more common than you think!) using an indoor wood-burning fireplace can pose significant risk, as there’s no way for the smoke to go. This can lead to soot build up (which you don’t want to breathe in) as well as potential fires. While you can clean your chimney yourself, if you’ve never done it before, you can easily find a professional to safely clean it for you.
Check your HVAC
Your A/C unit has been chugging away all Summer, but when the colder weather comes, you’ll be turning it off in favour of turning up your thermostat. You’ll want to check your HVAC and clean the coils, possibly covering any outdoor units as well. Cleaning the coils is simple but, again, don’t be afraid to hire a professional if you’re not sure how to check your HVAC system safely! By checking the HVAC, you’ll be more aware of any damage and issues that need to be fixed (like poor heating efficiency).
Repair any drafts in windows and doors
One of the more common yet overlooked reasons why your heating bill can rise in the colder months is drafty doors and windows. Before Winter hits, check the seals around your windows and doors for cracks or peeling and repair them where necessary. If you’re not sure whether there’s a draft, a quick ‘trick’ is to hold a lit candle near the seal, and if it flickers, there may be a draft! For the most part, repairing these drafts is easy and cost-effective.
Clean your gutters
The main reason we clean our gutters is to prevent build-up that can trap water or cause flooding in your roof. In Winter, that can be a particularly bad problem when snow collected on the roof and in the gutters, causing damage to your roof and potential leaks in your ceiling! Luckily, cleaning out gutters is easy but can also be done in a day or two (like over the weekend) so you’re prepared for the Winter season.
Slips and falls are extremely common in the Winter time when walkways or paths are blocked by overgrown landscaping, which can freeze in cold temperatures. Trim your plants and clear walkways of any debris so that you can shovel and/or salt the paths during the Winter easily.
Store hoses and service irrigation systems
Before a snow storm or freezing temperatures arrive, drain any hoses and shut off any valves inside an older home to prevent them from freezing in the Winter. You’ll then want to check your sprinkler and irrigation systems, working with a professional to repair them if necessary. This will save you time and hassle once the Winter is over!
Trim trees (seriously)
It may not seem obvious, but overhanging branches or older trees can cause damage to homes if a storm hits. While it’s still Fall, trim branches and get rid of dead trees or broken tree limbs to prevent any risks of damage in the Winter. You can purchase tree trimming equipment from a local hardware store, but a professional tree service (like a feller) can also help you prep those trees for the Winter ahead!