School is back and session and that means one thing…the cooler weather is just around the corner. As beautiful as the fall can be and as magical as the winter weather might look, getting your home ready is imperative to surviving the harsh elements throughout the cold season. If you haven’t started preparing, now is the perfect time to get your home ready for the cool weather ahead. Here are some suggestions for getting ready:
Weatherize the House
During the fall and winter, the heating bills tend to surge due to the cost of gas and oil. You can reduce the amount of energy you’re using in your home during the cooler months by improving its efficiency. Over time, every home loses efficiency (some even start off inefficient). Cracks in the walls, around the windows and doors, and issues in the property’s foundation can quickly become ways for cool air to get in the home and your warm heat to get out.
Weatherizing your home essentially means finding and plugging those airways so that you can keep the cold air out and your heat in. Here are some suggestions on how to weatherize your home:
- Place weather stripping around the doors and windows
- Put plastic around windows that have cracks or let in a lot of cold air
- Reinsulate the basement and attic
- Fill in cracks with calk
- Fix any foundation issues
Service Your Heating System
You’re going to rely on your heating system a lot during the fall and winter. A heating system that isn’t properly maintained will eventually lose efficiency. This isn’t good for a few reasons. First, it will cause the heating system to work harder to generate heat through the house. Second, it will cause your heating bills to increase. Lastly, it could lead to serious damage. Contact a company that specializes in heating repair and maintenance. They can check for any underlying issues and complete routine maintenance like cleaning the ventilation system and changing air filters.
Get the Gutters Cleaned
Having the gutters cleaned at least once or twice a year is necessary for the structure and integrity of your home. When gutters aren’t cleaned, they fill up with debris like twigs and leaves from nearby trees. This debris then clogs the gutter system preventing it from properly navigating rain waters away from your house. When the water isn’t properly routed away from the house, it can saturate the ground around it resulting in serious foundation issues.
If you’re not afraid to grab a ladder and clean them yourself, then by all means, get up there and do it. However, if you’re afraid of heights or have never cleaned the gutters before, it’s best to contact a roofing company for assistance. Not only will they clean your gutters, they can assess your roof to ensure that it will withstand the rain in the fall and the heavy snow and winds in the winter.
Tend to the Garden
Another home improvement task you’ll need to do before the winter comes is tending to the garden. Most of the garden chores you can do yourself unless you happen to have a black thumb. Towards the end of fall you’ll need to start cleaning up and covering up your garden for the winter. Start by getting rid of the dead stems and foliage from your flowers and/or veggies. This prevents them from harboring diseases and insect nests during the winter. Then, get rid of any weeds and debris before the ground gets too cold to deal with. Till the soil and then add compost to the soil. The fall is also a good time to dig and box any raised beds, create a cold frame, and complete any other general gardening repairs.
Some might consider making changes to the home’s décor to bring sort of a warm feeling to the cooler seasons ahead. Some home décor ideas can actually help to make the house feel warmer and save you money. For instance, putting up thicker window treatments can help to keep the cool air out. Switching to heavier bedding minimizes the need for the heat to be turned up too high when it’s cold at night. There are a ton of home décor ideas you could try for the fall and winter.
Well, you’ve got a laundry list of things to complete before the cold weather arrives. It’s a good idea to get started on these things sooner rather than later. As unpredictable as the weather can be at times, you don’t want the cold season to come upon you and you’re not prepared.