- Ensure your heater and fireplace are in optimal condition before chilly weather prompts you to fire them up.
- Program your thermostat to a lower temperature while you’re at work or asleep to save on energy bills.
- Check that your gutters are free of debris and cracks. This will help support proper drainage and prevent potential damage.
It’s important to prepare your home for winter — especially when you live in the Midwest, where these months promise extreme cold and plenty of snowfall. Be sure to complete the three tasks below as soon as possible, to ensure you’re ready for the chilly months ahead.
1. Check your heater
At the top of your list, hire an inspector to check your heating system. When winter rolls around, you’ll appreciate a heater that starts when you call on it. Depending on what kind of heating system you have, you’ll need to have your furnace or radiator checked — or both. Typically, furnaces are assessed for ventilation issues and pilot light troubles, whereas radiators are checked for pressure leaks, pump circulation, and valve response.
It may also be a good time to consider a programmable thermostat. A smart thermostat can significantly </real-estate-advice/winter-energy-saving-tips">cut down your winter energy costs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that homeowners can save up to 10% on energy bills every year by simply turning their thermostats back 7º–10º for 8 hours a day. Once your thermostat is programmed, you won’t have to put much thought into this home feature, but you’ll continue to save.
2. Clean out your fireplace and chimney
Your chimney may have accumulated soot or transformed into a home for little critters over the summer months, so it’s essential to sweep the area for debris and nests. Whether you hire a professional to take a look at your chimney or you opt for the DIY route, be sure to inspect your fireplace and chimney before you cozy up in front of the fire this winter.
Here are some quick tips to get your fireplace ready for winter:
- Check for and repair cracks, frayed wires or faulty pilot lights.
- Trim branches or anything else that could fall in the chimney.
- Invest in an energy-efficient chimney damper.
3. Gut your gutters
As leaves begin to fall, they could build up and block your gutters. Mitigate potential drainage issues by clearing your gutters before they have a chance to clog. To clean your gutters before winter arrives, follow these simple tips:
- Get to gutter level and inspect for damage or clogs. Use a hose to flush out any leaves or other debris.
- Once the gutter is clear, look for stains on the foundation of your house or dripping water; these issues could be signs of a leaky gutter.
- Check that all water running through your gutter and downspout flushes away from your home.
Although it may seem like a tedious task to get up on a ladder and gauge the status of your gutters, doing so will help prevent serious property damage — like ice dams — later on.
Pre-winter planning for homeowners
Completing these three fall home maintenance projects can help keep your home in optimal condition throughout the winter.
Whether you’re looking for additional home maintenance insights or you’re hoping to move before the coldest weather hits, reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents for more expert advice.