As the weather gets colder and we move toward huddling up inside for a few months, we have an opportunity to inspect our houses and make sure that our family stays happy, healthy, and well throughout the cold months. There’s a lot to do, but we have time to do it if we put our minds to it. So, in these last dry days, when it’s still easy to jaunt around outside the house, it’s a good idea to inspect every inch of the place so that if something’s wrong, you find it when it’s easy to fix.
Electrical and heating—consider energy audit now
Before we enter the coldest months, you should consider an energy audit while you can still get it done. You’re about to use a lot of energy to keep your house warm, and having someone come by to help you minimize that is not a bad idea.
During an audit, you can also check your heating and air conditioning systems for function and leaking and flip your filters so that you know everything is in order to keep you warm and toasty. There is nothing worse than finding out that your furnace is broken on the first morning that’s cold enough for you to want it.
Make sure your chimney is clean
You’re also about to use your chimney for the first time in months, so you should make sure it’s clean and order firewood because it’ll be harder to get in the midst of winter.
The change of the seasons is also time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Not only is it good to regularly check them, but you’re also going to be burning a lot more material this season if you have a fireplace or woodstove.
Check the outside of the house next
Outdoors you want to go around your house and check your paint, caulk, and the seals on your exterior wood, as it’s all about to be much wetter for a few months. If you see anything that’s crumbling or gapping, just scrape off that paint or caulk and apply fresh.
You should also check your decks, concrete, or asphalt on your patio, driveway, or walkway. You have time now to seal it and let it cure, but waiting till later will have an entire season of damage with minimal opportunity to fix it. Just apply some water to the surfaces and see if it soaks in. If it does, it’s time to reseal them.
Your drains in your gutters and your foundation also need some care. Any pooling or settling around your foundation can be filled with soil before the spring floods. Check the downspouts to make sure they point away from the foundation. Gutters should be securely fastened and freely draining as they’re about to get burdened with snow, and that could bring them right down.
Any sad-looking trees around your house should also be cut down before they get loaded with snow and come down on their own. Getting a tree removed in the fall is much easier than trying to drag it out in the dead of winter. It’s a good idea to get ahead of the curve wherever you can. Might even get some firewood out of it!
Stow your stuff
Last, make sure that your outside amenities are all properly treated for the season. For example, all of your outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems, or pools should be drained and turned off to make sure that they don’t freeze and burst on the first big one.
Your lawn care equipment that uses gas will be happier in the spring if you drain the gas out of them. Similarly, you might consider testing the snowblower and filling it up before you need it on a cold morning. At the very least, you should bring your snow shovels out into an easily accessible place.
When you find you haven’t been out on the patio for a week or so, you should cover the furniture to prevent damage from the snow and leaves over the winter. Of course, it doesn’t all have to come inside, but you can save yourself some heartache come spring just by giving it a nice cover-up layer.
Enjoy your holidays
Now that that’s all done, you can settle into the holidays with a massive weight off your mind and a feeling of peace in your heart. Of course, every season, there is a list of things to do to prepare, but once it’s done, you can truly relax and let your home be a place of peace rather than a place of concern.
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