Tips for getting your home ready for winter

Winter Wonderlandby: Shane Lovering, New Homes Specialist

Fall is here and winter is approaching, and with the forecast showing some mild weather days ahead now might be a good time to get outside and button up the yard for its winter slumber, as well as prepare the interior of your home for its annual cold-weather transition.   

Being proactive might save much hassle and headache.  We would do well to heed the ancient proverb that states,  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  Who wants to be the one driving to the convenience store at 11:30 at night for one 9-volt battery for an incessantly chirping smoke detector, or picking themselves up from the cold, ice-laden concrete, only to find that gutter downspout has been kicked into the window well?

With these mini disasters and more in mind , we have compiled our Annual Fall Checklist to ensure a warm and safe Fall and Winter season.

Exterior:

  • Arrange to have the underground sprinkler system in your yard winterized.
  • Remove the hose from the hose bib on the house so it doesn’t freeze and break the pipe inside the wall.
  • Check vents for wasp nests that can block the pipes for the furnace. Our Warranty Manager Darian says, “I have seen several pipes totally blocked by a nest this year.”
  • Aerate and fertilize the lawn.
  • Fertilize plants and spray for bugs before they go dormant
  • Cut back perennials, but wait as long as you can to that they may store up nutrients for the winter
  • Spray for spider control
  • Declutter your gutters, and install gutter guards
  • Check all downspouts and extensions to ensure they are attached properly and directing water appropriately
  • Tune up or replace that snowblower or snow shovel

Interior:

  • Replace furnace filters and have enough on hand to get through until spring
  • Replace all 9 volt batteries in the smoke detectors
  • Check doors and windows to make sure they seal well, and repair or replace seals as needed
  • Have your furnace and tankless water heater serviced
  • Reset your programmable thermostat to reflect the colder season
  • Stop by 1748 Front street for some of Kelly’s famous chili and cornbread
  • Light the pilot on your gas fireplace
  • Reverse your ceiling fan direction.  According to Energy Star, you should reverse the fan motor to run clockwise and “operate at low speed to produce a gentle updraft, which redistributes warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.”
  • Replace“dead” light bulbs
  • Stock on winter pantry staples

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