Last week, we talked about getting the outside of your home ready for winter. This week, we head to the great indoors to give some more winterizing advice.
Inspect the Furnace
As temperatures fall, the furnace plays a big role in the overall comfort of your home. You should replace your home’s furnace filter monthly, but if you’ve been putting that off, fall is the perfect time to start a new habit. A new filter will make it easier for your heating unit to function, use less energy and result in cleaner air. If you don’t want to replace the filter every month, consider a reusable filter, which only requires a simple wash each month.
Winterize the Air Conditioning
If you have central air, it’s important to winterize the system so it fires up again when the temperatures rise next summer. Use a garden hose to wash down the exterior unit to remove any debris from a summer’s worth of lawn mowing, dirt and loose water balloons. Once it dries, put a cover over it to defend against snow, ice and critters. Secure it with rope or bungee cords, and check it every once in a while to ensure they’re tight the whole winter.
Test Smoke Detectors
Fall marks a great time to test all of your smoke detectors. Replace the old batteries with new ones, recycle the old, and hit the “test” button on each detector to ensure they’re in good working order. Install a carbon monoxide detector if you haven’t already.
Your home’s insulation plays an important behind-the-scenes role in keeping your home warm. Perform a routine inspection in your attic to make sure there are no gaps or missing pieces. Check around door frames and windows for gaps; use a caulk or sealant to keep the cold weather away. Check any point of your house that may let cold air in from the outside, such as vents, plumbing and electrical wires. Seal with spray foam.
Search for Unwanted Guests
Colder temperatures will no doubt drive animals and insects to warmer places. Check your entire house for evidence of these pests, such as droppings, noise and grease smears. Read more about pest prevention here. These pests can chew, burrow and crawl through aluminum, cement, wood, pipes and even sheetrock, so check for damage and possible points of entry in your house. If you do find evidence or even critters themselves, purchase some over-the-counter traps, or call professionals to have them removed.
These simple steps can ensure a warm, safe and critter-free winter. Do you have any tips for preparing your home for winter? Share in the comments below!