While you might be enjoying the fall foliage and pumpkin spice treats now, colder weather is right around the corner. It won’t be long until you start preparing for the holidays and, yes, digging out from the season’s first major snowfall. With that in mind, there’s more to getting ready for winter than taking out the heavy coats from storage.
As a homeowner, it’s imperative to take a proactive approach when it comes to protecting your biggest investment. Consider the following cold weather tips for your home.
Get your heating and air conditioning system inspected
Nobody wants to be stuck in a house without heat in the middle of January. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and contact a local HVAC technician to schedule a system tune-up. This is especially important for those with an older furnace.
Now, let’s say you had a new HVAC system installed in the last year or so. Even though it may not be necessary to hire a professional to perform a tune-up, you should at least take the time to change your filters. Swapping old air filters for new ones helps keep your system running the way it should, saves you money on your utility bill, and ensures that your family will be breathing clean air.
Clean the gutters
It’s always a good idea to clean your gutters once the leaves are down. Many homeowners don’t realize that backed up gutters can cause extensive damage to their roofing, siding, and wood trim. Additionally, clogged gutters are often the culprit behind foundation problems.
In terms of actually cleaning the gutters, we suggest checking the safety of your ladder before getting started with the task. There’s no problem with hiring a professional if you don’t feel completely comfortable getting on a ladder yourself. Keep in mind that a professional will also be able to repair any missing or damaged gutters and fascia boards.
Get water away from your residence
You may not initially think much of rainwater coming down the leader pipes and pooling at the corner of your house. However, as temperatures continue to drop throughout the winter months, this area can pose significant problems as it freezes and thaws. Take some time now to divert water from your house, even if it means having a contractor digging trenches and installing underground drain pipes.
Trust us, the last thing you want to deal with this winter is a drainage problem. Something as simple as adding downspout extenders in the fall can be the difference between water running far enough from your foundation and it causing a disaster. Again, if you’d rather not play the guessing game, contact a professional right from the beginning.
One more thing with this one — be sure to blow out your sprinklers before the first hard freeze. Should you put off winterizing your sprinkler system, you risk water freezing in the pipes, irrigation valves, and sprinkler heads. Unfortunately, this procrastination could lead to a damaged sprinkler system.
Perform an energy check
Can’t remember ever having a professional energy audit? Well, with cold winter nights knocking on the door, now is definitely a good time to do so. The professional who does the audit should not only point out areas of inefficiency but also offer energy-saving tips.
Speaking of ways to conserve energy this winter, remember to caulk around windows and doors before the first cold spell. Other energy-saving ideas worth considering include installing solar panels and repairing cracked windows.
Contact a tree service
It’s easy to forget about your trees for the season once all of the leaves fall. On the other hand, you may be tempted to prune your trees as soon as possible. Just be aware that licensed arborists advise waiting to prune until later in the winter, when trees have been dormant for several months.
Then there’s the importance of understanding your tree’s health before winter hits. A tree that is significantly damaged, diseased, and/or dead likely has limbs that could come down in the next snowstorm. Rather than deal with the aftermath of fallen tree limbs, contact an arborist who will identify rotting trees and hazardous limbs.
Why American Home Agents?
Maybe you’re thinking of starting the home buying process. But does it make sense to do so during the winter? In short, the answer is yes, buying a home in the offseason is a strategic move as long as you have the right agent by your side.
This is where the team at American Home Agents comes into play. As a family owned and operated business, our agents always have your best interest in mind.
We hope you found our winter home maintenance tips to be helpful, and we look forward to assisting you with your real estate transaction. Contact American Home Agents at (303) 695-5900