Fall is here, and it’s time to prepare our Albuquerque homes for winter. Take advantage of fall to care for the little things that will make a big difference for you and your home. If you want your house to withstand the winter months you need to make sure that it’s ready for colder weather.
Before hibernating this winter, every homeowner should follow these helpful tips.
- Stow Your Mower
You should try to find a dry place to store your mower if you don’t have one. In addition, you should sharpen your blades in preparation for spring. Be sure to empty your lawn mower’s fuel tank before putting it to rest. Taking simple steps like these before putting your lawn mower into storage will help increase the longevity of your equipment.
- Perform an energy audit
If you have heat leaks in your home, an energy audit can identify them so you can fix them to save money on utilities. To do this on your own, first note down all the places where there are drafts in your home. Apply caulk or weatherstripping to the air leaks you have identified. The energy savings you can achieve by detecting and fixing drafts range from 5% to 30%, and your home will be more comfortable.
- Replace Your Storm Windows
How energy-efficient are your windows? It is a great time to replace old windows with energy-efficient storm windows. Make sure you store your screens in a proper space so they do not get damaged over the winter. So that they are ready for the upcoming winter, you’ll want to give them a good cleaning, as well as your storm windows.
- Check your Furnace
You can save a lot of energy by checking your furnace and replacing filters. A dirty filter will increase your heating costs and reduce the life of your equipment. Check your filter once a month and replace or clean if necessary. Have a professional take a look and perform any adjustments to your furnace during this time if needed.
- Install Gutter Guards
To prevent water damage to your home, you need a clear and functional gutter. It is important to keep your gutters clear and clean so you don’t have to deal with structural and foundation issues in the future. You can prevent clogged gutters with gutter guards, saving you time and energy, and protecting your home. Nobody likes cleaning gutters anyway.
- Maintain your Home’s Exterior
You can keep debris from hitting and perhaps damaging your home by trimming back trees and branches that are too close to your home. Also be sure to seal driveways, brick patios, and wood decks. For long term care of your home exterior, it is important to apply a layer of sealant to prevent weed growth, repel stains, and increase the longevity of these areas.
- Chimney and Fireplace
You’ll want to call in a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. Annual cleaning of your chimney is important to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue to ensure that it is tightly sealed when closed.
- Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors
This is a simple task for homeowners, but it is often forgotten about. Detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, try replacing the batteries and test again. If the alarm still doesn’t fire, you may need a new detector. Testing these systems is a quick, but very important quarterly test to perform.
Taking these steps will not only lower your utility costs, but they will protect your largest investment, your home, from the unexpected weather conditions ahead.
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