We are in the final weeks of summer and though few of us are thinking about winter, it is just around the corner. By taking advantage of warm, sunny days to perform some basic home maintenance and improvement, we can stay indoors and enjoy ourselves during colder weather. Here is a list of things to do before all the leaves fall off the trees this fall.
Step 1: Have the furnace checked and serviced. Preventative maintenance and repairs now mean no huddling under blankets when the heat does not work this winter. Repair workers appreciate the proactive nature of such customers because it evens out their workload and prevents them from spending too much time in the cold.
Step 2: Inspect the chimney to ensure that birds have not taken up residence there. Verify that the chimney cap is in place. If the house has a woodburning fireplace, have a chimney sweep come to clean out the chimney.
Step 3: Check all windows in the home and address any related problems. Ensure that windows are caulked and that seals keep water out of the area. Replace window boards and trim that are chipped or broken. Look for drafts and block them with the appropriate repair.
Step 4: If you have a regular thermostat, consider switching to a programmable version. Energy credits and tax deductions may be available and these models are more convenient to operate. The unit triggers heat to go on and off according to a user-programmed time and temperature schedule. If a programmable thermostat is already installed, verify that it is working properly.
Step 5: Winterize pipes that will soon be exposed to cold temperatures and could freeze. Pre-fitted pipe insulation is available online and in stores. This is an easy project to do yourself and saves big bucks over calling in a professional.
Step 6: As summer gives wall to fall, check the home for mice and other unwanted pests like spiders. Block holes, spray, and set up traps. Keep all food in covered storage containers to prevent creatures from entering cabinets for a snack.
Step 7: Clean out gutters during fall, removing leaves and twigs that can freeze during winter and increase the chances of improper drainage or a roof leak.