There’s a crispness in the air, temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are starting to change color—reminders that summer has passed and winter is just around the corner. And with every season comes important tasks to maintain and protect your home and property. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 ways to ensure your home is ready for winter.
1. Clean your furnace and change filters.
Shut off your heating system and remove your furnace cover before vacuuming away any debris and dust. Replace your filter with a new one and put the cover back on. Take a moment to clear the area around your furnace, removing any flammable objects that might be near your system. If it’s been a while, schedule a service inspection to ensure everything is in good working order.
2. Reprogram your thermostat.
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one as it will help reduce your heating costs. To conserve energy, set it to run only when you are home and lower the temperature while you're sleeping.
3. Clean your fireplace and get your chimney cleaned and inspected.
Clear your fireplace of dust and cobwebs so you don’t have to smell them burning when you light your first fire of the season. Using a little mild soap and water, scrub your fireplace walls to clean them of soot. If you burn wood in your fireplace, schedule a professional chimney cleaning and inspection to remove creosote build-up and ensure the safe operation of your system.
4. Stock up on firewood.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or fire pit, stock up on dry firewood to ensure you have a ready supply for the season.
5. Change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Changing your batteries ensures your systems will work properly and protect your family. Take a moment to dust your systems to ensure their sensors can do their job.
6. Shampoo your rugs and carpeting.
To reduce dust and odors in your home, shampoo your rugs and carpeting. Keep your windows open to help your carpeting dry faster and reduce the risk of mold or mildew.
7. Swap out your home textiles.
Fall is a great time to hang heavier drapes to provide added insulation in your home. Use darker colors to absorb the sun’s energy and bring added heat. Open your curtains after the sun rises and close them just before sunset to trap the warmth inside your home. Be sure to clean your summer curtains before packing them away. To help your family stay warm on those chilly winter nights, add some cozy throw blankets and pillows.
8. Clean and reverse your ceiling fan blades.
Ceiling fans can get really dusty during the summer months. Clean them with a ceiling fan brush attached to an extension pole. Next, ensure your ceiling fan blades are switched to rotating clockwise. This direction helps pull warm air down from the ceiling and into your living space.
9. Seal window and door cracks and gaps with caulk or weatherstripping.
Eliminating gaps and cracks will keep the warm air in, and the cold air out, keeping you comfortable and saving you money on your heating costs.
Pro Tip: To discover any hidden window or door gaps, hold a lighted candle in your hand and slowly move it around them. If the smoke or flame flutters, you’ve got a gap that needs sealing.
10. Schedule a home maintenance assessment.
A home maintenance assessment will help you identify any potential problems that need to be addressed before the harsh New England winter weather is upon us. Cormack’s experienced team of home builders and remodeling experts will assess your home from top to bottom and let you know if you have any issues that require attention.
Home Maintenance and Repair Professionals in NH’s Lakes Region, White Mountains and Western ME
For over 40 years, area homeowners have trusted Cormack’s professionals with their home maintenance and repair needs. If you need help with a home maintenance or repair project, contact the Cormack team for a free, no-obligation consultation.