Being a homeowner is a great thing – having property you are proud of, a place to entertain or to raise a family. Owning a home gives you a place to plant roots and start a new chapter. However, with the fun and comfort that having a place to call home provides, it is also met with the burden of home ownership. Regular maintenance is a big part of owning a home and there is never a season where there isn’t a project.
With late fall settling in, we can almost feel the cold winter weather knocking on the door. Good news! It isn’t too late to get in some important tasks accomplished to protect your home during the winter months.
Here is a list of 10 things you can do to prepare your home for winter and increase heating efficiency:
- Take an inventory of snow removal equipment. Replace any broken shovels and make repairs to snowblowers. Make these items easily accessible in your garage or shed.
- Inspect your roof for any leaks of damage from previous seasons. Repair as needed or replace if necessary. Winter weather can cause major damage to a roof, so it is important to keep them in good condition.
- Check gutter systems for any damage and repair as needed. The weight from accumulation and subsequent ice can pull gutter systems away from your home. Also remove any debris that may be in gutters and downspouts.
- Trim trees and branches to protect your home and electrical wires. Snow can become heavy and break large branches or pull over trees, causing damage to your property or causing power outages. This is common in late fall/early winter when trees may still have leaves.
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected – have any repairs made. This should be done yearly before using your fireplace.
- Have your heating system serviced by a professional. This not only ensures efficiency but safety. This is also a good time to fill up on heating fuel (if needed) and to change furnace filters.
- Replace screen doors and windows with storms. This will help add a barrier between the elements and your living areas.
- Examine windows and doors. Caulk around glass areas, replace weather stripping, and plastic if necessary.
- Insulate piping to prevent freezing should a power outage occur.
- Install additional or new insulation in attics, basements and crawlspace areas. This will help keep in heat and keep energy costs reasonable.
These simple tasks can help save money and keep your home safe. Winter weather can be harsh, especially in Northeast where just last year Buffalo, NY and Boston, MA saw amazing amounts of snowfall. While no one can predict what mother nature will do, we can do our best to prepare for it.
Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. Previously she has worked in social media and marketing, with a strong background in customer service. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website at www.homeswitherinmiller.com.