Getting your home ready for Winter

Getting your home ready for WinterTop 6 tips that will protect your property and your wallet.

1. Clean your eavestroughs and downspouts.
The easiest and least expensive way to protect your investment is to keep them clean so they can do their job for you! Foundation work costs thousands and thousands of dollars. Eavestroughs only cost $1000.00 and if they are kept clean, just think of your savings!
2. Check your windows, doors and other openings for drafts.
You may need to caulk them. Having a good seal around these openings will not only make your home more comfortable, but will also provide savings in energy costs.
3. Inspect your roof and chimney.
Check your eavestroughs again for granules form the shingles, (a sign of heavy wear), and ensure that your eavestroughs and flashing are securely attached.
4. Put your air conditioning unit to rest.
Removable A/C window units should be removed and properly stored according to the manufacturer’s instruc- tions before winter in order to protect the unit and help keep cooler outside air from getting inside. There is much debate over whether you should completely cover a whole home A/C unit for the winter. A cover that goes all the way down to the bottom can trap moisture inside the unit as well as invite critters to nest. A better option is a short cover, which protects the unit from debris and leaves getting inside the top while letting it breathe (a piece of plywood cut to size on top of the unit works well too).
5. Shut-off and drain outside faucets.
The faucets you use outside in the summer to wash your car, soak your garden and hose down your kids are susceptible to freezing. If proper care is not taken to shut-off and drain these lines before winter, it can lead to pipes and faucets bursting or cracking and can create a huge, potentially expensive, disaster.
6. Have your furnace cleaned and inspected, replace the filter. This not only helps the quality of your inside air, but also keeps your furnace running more efficiently. A big money saver for sure in heating costs. If you have a permanent filter, follow the directions on how to clean it and only use the recommended cleaning solutions.