Autumn is here, and with the changing seasons, you may already be thinking about some of the increased costs that the colder weather can bring. You can save money now and in the future by caring for your house before the cold weather rolls in.
Fall tasks to take care of now:
- Clean gutters and downspouts: Leaves and debris can collect and lead to ice dams or other water damage from rain or melted snow.
- Clean your chimney: Schedule a chimney sweep to clean out buildup and check your fireplace or woodstove for safety.
- Test your home for air tightness: Caulk and weather strip doors and windows that leak air, or cover single-pane windows with storm windows. Look for light from the outside coming in around your doors or drafts and cold air around closed windows, and address those areas. Check your dryer vent to make sure it isn’t blocked and clean out any buildup or debris.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors: Test devices in the house to make sure they are working properly. Also, make sure that you have fire extinguishers in all the necessary places.
- Perform maintenance on heating and air units: Schedule regular maintenance for your furnace or boiler and change filters where necessary.
- Repair any damage to the roof or exterior of your home: Have damaged or missing shingles on roof replaced and any exterior damage on your home fixed to prevent water from getting inside and causing serious problems.
- Turn off and drain exterior water sources: Shut down sprinkler systems, drain outside spigots, and bring hoses inside for the winter.
- Clean up lawn and landscaping and trim trees: Remove leaves from the roof and the exterior of your home where they can block pipes, invite pests or lead to other damage. Hire a professional to trim trees to keep them healthy and prevent weak branches from causing harm in wind, rain, snow or ice.
By performing these small, inexpensive tasks, you’ll be able to save energy, reduce costs and even prevent a fire, water damage, and other incidents that could lead to more expensive repairs down the road.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy