When warm weather arrives, everyone's thinking turns to fishing, barbecuing, and the beach. No homeowner wants to spend summer doing extra work. Don't wait until winter to start preparing your home. You can be sure your family will be safe and warm next winter by taking a few simple steps during the warm months.
An annual service contract for your furnace or heat pump will keep your system maintained and repaired when necessary. Have your technician do an inspection and maintenance call in the summer when they are less busy, and avoid an emergency breakdown call on a night of below zero temperatures. You may find yourself on a long waiting list once winter arrives.
If you had dozens of sparkling icicles hanging from your roof last winter, it means heat is escaping from your house. Increase the insulation in your attic space. Insufficient insulation can also be the cause of ice dams and cause melting water to back up and enter your house. If you are uncertain of how to check for potential problems, have a home-energy auditor take a look at your attic. This simple step can save you thousands of dollars in repairs later.
Caulk Window and Door Frames
If you find there are gaps between the siding and door frame larger than the width of a nickel, it's time to reapply exterior caulk. The joints in window frames also need to be checked. These areas are where cold drafts gain access to your home and cause your heating costs to rise. Use silicone caulk for outside applications because it will not shrink and is unaffected by the elements.
Clean Your Gutters
Leaves, dirt, and other debris collect in your gutters that can cause serious problems when ignored. When water backs up from clogs and winter ice, damage can occur to the root siding, and trim. Leaks and ice dams can be the result of clogged gutters. You may be more comfortable hiring a professional to do the job, as he or she will look for any sections of gutter or fascia board that may need replacing. This work should be done after the leaves fall.
Don't risk chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Have your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned every year. Never use a fireplace or any fuel-burning device before your chimney is cleaned.
Get Stocked Up Early
Winter supplies are expensive and often times hard to get when a storm is on the way. Stock up a little at a time to avoid a large cash outlay all at one time. Ice melt, shovels, snow blower supplies, and any other equipment you need to keep your drive and walkways clean and ice-free should be purchased before they are needed. Be sure to have your snow blower serviced well ahead of winter.
Use a few of your summer days to prevent problems when the temperatures drop. These simple tips will help you be better prepared for winter when it arrives. Your home will be cozy and warm all winter long.