With fall less than two weeks away, it’s a good time to implement some fall home prep tips. Here are six tips to help keep you warm, cozy and safe this winter.
Clean Your Fireplace
While we still have some dry days, and before you have the urge to start a cozy fire, have your fireplace cleaned. This includes having your chimney cleaned. The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Seal Window & Door Leaks
Over time, windows and doors can develop water leaks and allow drafts. Changes in temperature, age, settling and old caulk are just a few of the potential causes. Before fall and winter rains come, pick a dry day and inspect your windows and doors for problems. Replace or repair damaged caulk and consider weather strips to close gaps that allow cold air in.
This fall home prep tip can save you time and money if you take care of it before cold weather arrives. You certainly don’t want to find yourself in a freezing cold house with a broken furnace and discover there is a two week waiting list for someone to get to you. It is recommended that you have it serviced every year. Don’t forget to change all of the filters before starting it up for the winter.
If you have never had your ductwork cleaned, or you live in an older home, you should consider having them cleaned by a trustworthy professional. This isn’t necessary more often than every 5 years or so, unless you have renovated and forgotten to cover the ducts. Other important reasons to clean your ducts are: animals or signs of animals in your ducts, visible mold, noticeable debris, pet hair, odors, or other contaminants are being released into the room.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
If you don’t already have one, get one. If you have one, make sure it is working. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is near impossible to identify without a detector. It is caused by fuels not burning completely, including wood, gasoline, coal, propane, natural gas, gasoline, and heating oil. This can come from clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens, ranges or a fireplace.
Check Smoke Detectors
You should check, test and replace all batteries on your smoke detectors. If you have done those things and they still don’t work, replace them immediately. This home fall prep tip could save the lives of you and your family.