It won’t be too long before winter weather comes to the Sacramento Area. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your home, and your budget, for the months ahead.
Everyone in your family gets their yearly check -up and your furnace should too. Before running your furnace for the first time have a licensed professional inspect and tune up your system. The cost of a tune up could potentially identify issues, like leaks, or save you money and frustration. You can keep everything running smoothly by checking for duct leaks and replacing air filters every 1-3 months.
It might even be time to upgrade your thermostat. Consider one where you can program the temperature to automatically lower during times of the day when the house is empty. This will help you save money, but is not guaranteed to end arguments over the perfect temperature.
The outside of your home should also get a thorough check-up. Do a safe inspection of your roof using binoculars or a ladder. Check for damaged or loose shingles as well as tree branches that may be rubbing against roof materials. Trimming back branches on your trees will help prevent branches falling during winter weather. Be sure to consult an arborist to make sure this is done safely.
When prepping your yard for winter weather, don’t forget about the gutters. Debris, like leaves and twigs, can prevent proper drainage and potentially damage gutters. Water can back up under eaves, and if the weight becomes too severe, gutters can become loose and separate from the roof structure. Be sure to clean the gutters before winter weather begins. If you are unable to get to it yourself, be sure the hire someone to do it for you. This easily forgettable task will prevent damage to your home and your wallet.
Winter rains may make for perfect indoor activities, but can cause problems around the home. It’s important to ensure that your home has proper water drainage. Make sure that your gutters, ground level screens and grates are clear and draining well. You can also consider extending your downspouts so that water drains farther away from your home.
If you live in an area prone to frost, check all your exposed pipes and faucets to make sure they are insulated. Prevent broken pipes by installing pipe insulation early.
Cold drafts will always find their way through the cracks, nooks, and crannies of your house. Use caulking where needed and weather stripping to get a tighter seal around doors and windows. If you can fit an envelope through a crack…. seal it up! This small step can make a huge difference in the temperature of your home.
A cozy fire is the perfect end to a fall or winter day, but a fire is best, and safely, enjoyed when your fireplace and chimney are in the right shape. Manually check your fireplace for any damage and be sure to check the spark arrestor. Inspect your chimney for any damage to make sure it is in working order. Be sure to get a chimney sweep out to make sure your chimney is free of any debris and build-up. Make an appointment for a chimney sweep early, as they are extremely busy in the fall. If you have a wood burning fireplace, order you wood early as well and be safe when chopping!
Don’t forget to check the batteries in your CO2 and smoke detectors every four months as well.
You don’t have to be prepared for the apocalypse, but having some supplies in case of bad weather is always a good idea. Keep a stash of bottled water, blankets, batteries, radio, non-perishable food, flashlights and a list of numbers including emergency services and utilities.
By prepping your home for winter, you can have peace of mind while enjoying cold weather activities, holiday treats and winter vacations.
Visit my Service Providers page for referrals to great local professionals, or contact me directly if I can help locate a specific professional in your area to handle repairs.