We were fortunate to have a nice, extended summer here in the Pacific Northwest, but over the next few weeks, fall will definitely be in full swing. With the long summer and short fall, it leaves only a little time to get your home prepared for winter. The cold weather will be here before you know it! Here are some winter-proofing tips to take care of your home this winter.
1. If you use wood heat, you need to clean your chimney and inspect it for any damages that could cause a fire. You can also hire a service to take care of this task if you are not comfortable doing so. It is a fairly simple task that involves sticking a long brush down the length of the chimney.
2. Take care of any gaps around your windows and doors. You can buy self-sticking insulation strips that will seal the area or use caulking. Both are very easy fixes and fairly inexpensive.
3. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, please consider buying one. If you use gas heat, these are important safety devices that will ensure your family is not exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide caused by a plugged flue or gas leak.
4. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Space heaters and wood stoves are some of the main causes of home fires. You want to make sure your detectors are in good working order this winter when space heaters and wood stoves are going to be used often.
5. Fall is a great time to flush your water heart. This will help extend the life of the water heater and make it more energy efficient. When it is cold out, hot showers are going to be in high demand!
6. Switch your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, which will force the hot air that rises to the ceiling back down into your living space.
7. Replace the filters in your furnace. This will make the furnace more energy efficient and prevent breakdowns in the middle of a cold snap.
8. Purchase draft guards for doors that lead to the outdoors. These help block out those cold breezes that waft in from under the door.
9. Consider adding a layer of insulation to your attic and crawl space. This can help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
10. If you have a fireplace that you don’t use, buy a chimney balloon that will stop cold drafts from coming down the chimney and chilling your room.