With colder weather already settling in across much of the country, there's no denying that fall has arrived and winter is close behind. These changes, of course, mean it's time to prepare your home for the changing seasons. Complete these projects to help prepare your home is ready for the upcoming winter months.
You'll need your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system during the winter months — particularly in northern climates — so it's important you get it inspected during the fall. Furnace filters should be replaced each month and any inspection of the system should start with this step.
A more detailed inspection and tune-up of the home's HVAC system will likely require the services of a professional HVAC contractor. The technician will be able to test the system's heat output as well as monitor for harmful levels of carbon monoxide, which experts define as 35 ppm (parts per million).
Once the furnace has been inspected, homeowners can turn their focus to the system's output by making sure ducts and vents are properly wiped clean and cleared of dust or dander.
A fully functioning HVAC system is all for naught if heat is permitted to escape through openings in the windows. Inspect the windows in your homes and look for cracks in the glass or sill itself, which may allow warm air to escape. This video provides a helpful resource to follow when tackling this project.
And in more northern climates, you can also put plastic wrap over the windows themselves. This provides a barrier between the cold of the window glass and the heat of the home, reducing the amount of heat seeping through the glass.
Homes with a traditional working fireplace should have it cleaned as part of their annual fall maintenance routine. Professional chimney sweeps recommend this project be done annually, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America is an excellent resource to find a chimney sweep in your area.
Some larger projects are best left to trained professionals, but you can tackle several smaller projects yourself in a short amount of time, benefiting your home and wallet. During fall home maintenance, you should:
There is still time for you to prepare your homes for the colder months ahead, but don't delay too long. Start checking off the tasks above and your home will remain warm and comfortable during winter's coldest weather.