Let’s face it – we’ve been pretty lucky with our fall season. It’s been warmer than usual out there, and it feels like winter is still a long way away. The winter solstice will be arriving next week, and you can expect to see the temperatures going more and more into decline as time goes by.
Be ready for the winter before the cold really kicks in this year. Just follow these 7 tips below to winterize your home now so you won’t regret it later on in the season!
Clean Out the Gutters – Just about all the leaves have fallen here in the Metro East St. Louis region, making it the perfect time to grab a sturdy ladder and clean out those hard-working gutters. It won’t just make your home look nicer; it will also help drain water and take it away from your home and help prevent any ice build-up that could happen on your roof this winter. Even if you have leaf guards, make sure to clean out any leaves and debris that might have fallen from the trees. Before you call it a day, run a pail or two of water down the gutters to check for any holes or weaknesses. Make sure to address those problems before winter comes!
Trim Back the Trees – Take a look at your trees. How do the limbs look? Do they look sturdy and far enough away from your home, or would you feel worried about any stray limbs hitting your home or your car during a nasty winter storm? If you see any limbs that are dying or that could possibly do any damage in a storm, go ahead and trim them or cut them down now. After all, it’s much easier to do it now when it’s nicer outside than when it’s freezing and snow is covering the ground.
Stock Up on Essential Winter Supplies – No one really thinks about the winter until it’s cold or there’s a nasty winter storm on the way. Take the time now to stock up on the essentials. Get salt and sand for your driveway, replace any broken or worn-out shovels, and fill your snow blower with gas and start it up to make sure that it works properly. Do this now before all the supplies are gone when the temperature plummets!
Change the Furnace Filter – There’s almost nothing worse than having your furnace go out in the cold of winter. Give your furnace some extra care before it gets really cold and check out the furnace filter. If you haven’t done so recently, or if the filter is dirty, go ahead and replace it. Having a clean filter will help your furnace to run more efficiently, and it will also help save you more energy and more money throughout the season.
Insulate Your Pipes and Hot Water Heater – The Department of Energy states that when you take the time to insulate your hot water pipes, you can get hot water on a lower setting, which saves both money and energy (and can trim 4-9% off your water heating costs). Wrapping your pipes can also help protect them from freezing should an emergency occur as well.
Clean the Chimney – Do you have a fireplace? Before you turn it on, prop your feet up, and enjoy it this season, call a professional to clean it. Chimney fires can easily occur when the fireplace isn’t cleaned, but a professional can help clean out any build-up of soot or any animals that might be nesting in the chimney. Do this every year to protect your fireplace, your home, and your friends and family.
Add Insulation In the Attic – Extra insulation won’t just make your house feel warm and cozy – it will also help you save more energy and money in the long run. Most homes require 12-15 inches of insulation in the attic in order to be effective, so make sure to call up a professional to check your insulation. If you find that it’s lacking, go ahead and put some extra insulation in before winter arrives.
Looking for more suggestions on how to ready your home for the winter? Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 for all of your home needs! If you’re in the hunt for a new home, you can view our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com as well.