You wished for it and we got it, the cool weather is FINALLY here and after the grueling six months of Louisiana summer we all endured, we can all truly enjoy our pumpkin spiced everything the way it was intended to be enjoyed-with a crisp chill in the air.
All kidding aside, if you are anything like our family, we were growing a bit Grinchy of the thought of us sweating out Christmas. Flip Flops in November? Come on! We were definitely ready to break out the scarves, boots and sweaters and begin our traditional Christmas Vacation marathon by a cozy fireplace.
But with the colder weather comes must do maintenance on the exterior as well as the interior of your home to prevent future complications. Forgetting to mark these simple home winterizing chores off your Christmas list can deplete your holiday budget and possibly put you on the naughty list with the kids.
What’s the first thing we homeowners do when the temperature drops? Turn up heat. Your furnace has been sitting dormant for a while and this is a great time to contact a reputable HVAC company to have it serviced to make sure everything is in proper working order. Make sure your HVAC filters have been changed as well.
Another smart move is checking your home’s insulation which is located in your attic and/or crawlspace. Remember heat rises and adding more insulation where it’s needed above your ceiling will keep the rooms below warm and cozy.
Speaking of warm and cozy, if you have a fireplace and it hasn’t been used in a while, it would be wise to hire a chimney sweep to make sure you are good to go before lighting your fire.
Another wise move is to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans and set them to a low speed. By doing this the fan will push the warm air down from the ceiling while pulling the cooler air up. Most fans have a small switch on the motor housing or remotes that can change the direction of the blades.
WINDOWS & DOORS
Keep the cold out and the heat in. The way to do this is by checking for cracks around windows and doors. Caulking these cracks and/or weather stripping will eliminate drafts keeping you and the family warm while saving money on your heating bill.
GUTTERS & ROOF
Clean out leaves and debris from your gutters. The drop in degrees will also cause trees to drop their leaves and many will accumulate in your gutters. They are extremely important to your home’s well-being and direct the flow of rain away from your home. Piles of wet leaves can become extremely heavy. This can cause gutters to break away and can also cause damage to your interior and exterior walls as well as your roof.
Speaking of your roof, leaves can pile up pretty quick causing an accumulation of moisture which creates mold and mildew that can spread to the under layer of your roof. Regular leaf removal can stop this and protect your home’s lid.
Freezing weather can wreak havoc on your home’s pipes. Remove exterior hoses or connections from the spigot and make sure they are free from leaks or drips, (even slow leak can freeze in the fixture.) When you are sure you are drip free, you will want to insulate the fixture with a hose bib cover that fits right over the faucet. These bibs can be found at most hardware and big box stores for just a few dollars.
You may also want to winterize your sprinkler system if you have one. Turning off the water supply will help prevent freezing and bursting as well.
Doing these few maintenance steps will certainly keep you and your family warm, safe and keep your holiday shopping budget on track. I think little Bobby would rather see the latest XBOX under the tree Christmas morning rather than a new furnace, but that’s just my opinion.