Every year around this time, I always like to share my guidelines to prepare your house for winter. I like to think of fall as the season of colorful endings and crisp beginnings. It’s also a season of reminders; easy DIY tasks and guidelines that need to be prepped and accomplished to help you get through the cold, ominous days of winter and keep your house running efficiently.
As we’re all getting ready to cozy up for the winter and it’s necessary to keep the outside out, and the inside in. I have five easy tips that I am going to share with you, to help keep your home running as efficiently as possible during the cold months.
5 Fall Tasks To Prep Your Home For Winter
Tip #1 – Changing Out The Water Filter
If you are like me and live on a well, it is paramount to change the water filter every three months. I’m amazed at how many people I have spoken to about this who have admitted that they have never changed their water filter. Not good. This task is a must and one that you can easily do yourself.
Like anything that runs with a filter, the filter has to be changed out regularly for proper efficiency and cleanliness. Water filters cost less than $20 and can be found in the plumbing section of The Home Depot. First thing’s first, you need to shut the water off. Take the filter wrench and unscrew the bottom of the filter holder, keeping an empty bucket at the ready to catch accumulated water. Pour out whatever extra water is in the holder, and discard the old filter. I recommend running a disinfecting wipe around the inside of the holder, getting out whatever grime may be in there. Place the new water filter in the holder; screw the holder back on to the top, tightening with the wrench to secure. Turn the water back on and you’re good to go for another three months.
Tip #2 Filling The Cracks
Hoping to stay cozy this winter and keep those cold drafts outside? Here are two solutions for you. My first tip is to caulk the gaps in your windows. Simply place a tube of caulk in a caulk gun and run a bead along the bottom of the window frame. Also, if there are any unwanted drafts around the molding of the windows, run a clean bead along the sides there as well.
Second, doors leading outside are huge culprits for letting unwanted cold air inside. A double draft stop is the answer. These stops fit snuggly right under your door. Simply measure the width of your door and cut the foam inserts a half-inch shorter than the measured width. Place the inserts back into the pouch, zip, and slide under the door. This DIY tip is simple, inexpensive and will ultimately help save you money on your heating bill.
Tip #3 Sweep The Chimney
Early Autumn, you should always have your chimney swept. Depending on the amount of use your fireplace had the previous season, There are tools available to clean your chimney at most hardware stores, but I suggest leaving this high-maintenance and dirty job to the pros, as a professional will also examine the walls of your chimney for cracks and other caked on debris that is difficult to remove.
Tip #4 Check The Smoke Detector And Carbon Monoxide Filter
Most smoke detectors these days have lithium batteries, which last between 5-10 years, and don’t need to be changed out as frequently. But those of you that have older models, those batteries should be changed twice a year. A good rule of thumb is always change the 9 volts when we change our clocks. We have updated our smoke detector, and are happy with it.
Tip #5 Clean Debris Out Of The Gutters
This is kind of a nasty task. I say this because when leaves are left in gutters, they’ve started to decompose, and they smell and are a bit slimy. I’m not a fan. I leave this job up to Sean, and he can do it because our roof isn’t freakishly high like some roofs on houses these days. But all roof heights aside, the gutters need to be cleaned out and free of leaves and debris to allow melting snow and cold rain to flow easily and away from the house. Whether you need to hire a professional, or you do it yourself, this autumn maintenance chore is a must.
These are great fall DIY maintenance tips to help your home run cleaner and more efficiently. They are simple, inexpensive and your efforts will pay off in the long run.
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