As the summer months approach and you look forward to plenty of sunshine and outdoor fun, it might be easy to forget about frigid winter months that will inevitably descend on your home in a few short months. A person’s home is their castle, and yours is no different. Keeping it in pristine shape is imperative as those four walls protect you and your family from outside elements, including inclement weather.
While there might not be a rush to do any winter preparations right now, keep these five things in mind as fall approaches:
Check heating systems
Too many people wait until the first cold snap of winter to test their heating system. Getting technicians out to fix such systems is expensive, and the waiting period is long as other homeowners face the same challenges. The summer months might be the ideal time to consider installing radiators. Energy-saving radiators like these have been proven to be cost-effective electricity savers and a worthy investment. While buying similar products from Technotherm, Haverland, and Ecostrad iQ might be a significant investment, they reap long-term rewards and add value to your home.
Regardless of your home’s heating source, ensure that it is fully functional as winter approaches. Most specialist companies suggest that you book an annual service check with a heating company. Their technicians inspect the system and do routine, preventive maintenance. Their fee is far less than the bill if the entire heating system fails.
Check roof and gutters
A house’s roof is often overlooked for maintenance because it is hard to access. However, as such a vital component of a home’s structure, prioritize your roof for winter preparations. If you are not able to get up there yourself, contact a local handyman or contractor. The first thing to look for is loose tiles or shingles. They let moisture and cold air into a home, which could cause structural damage.
Water from winter rain and snow needs to run off a home’s roof and into its gutters. Gutters clogged with fall leaves are not fully functional. They may overflow or crack under the pressure of holding stagnant water that does not reach the downpipes. As the weather transitions from fall to winter, use a hose to rinse out your gutters, getting rid of any leaves and twigs trees have shed. Unblock downpipes using a long piece of wire with a hook on its end to pull debris out.
Check for drafts
Your worst enemy during winter is cold drafts entering your home. They make your heating system work harder than necessary to maintain warm temperatures, which becomes a drain on your budget as your electricity bill balance rises. Use the months before winter to detect drafts and implement measures to stop them.
Start with your house’s windows and check that each one seals properly. Replace any cracked glass panes and mechanisms that keep windows closed. Inspect the windows from outside for a tight seal where window frames meet the house’s construction material. Next, ensure that no drafts are entering your home under the door or through cracks in sealing materials.
Check safety measures
If you check the statistics, most house fires occur during the winter months. This happens because people are using more electricity, and this increased demand may affect an already vulnerable wiring system. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are essential home safety appliances. They can mean the difference between life or death and could save severe structural damage.
Check smoke detector batteries and test their functionality. Ensure your fire extinguisher’s tag’s date has not passed. Using an expired fire extinguisher could render it entirely ineffective during an emergency.
Check fireplaces and chimneys
A cozy fireplace setting is a perfect way to wind down after an icy winter’s day. However, it comes with some risks. If you do not keep your chimney and fireplace well-maintained, carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a distinct likelihood.
Get professional chimney cleaners to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are ready for the winter months. It would be advisable to install carbon monoxide alarms that go off when levels are above average. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer as most people do not realize its presence until it is too late.