Now that the hottest days of the year are becoming a thing of the past and the kids are back in school, it’s time to start planning ahead for colder weather. Although fall weather can still be very nice, it’s an ideal time of year to make sure your home is prepared for the colder weather that lies ahead. By acting now, you can be sure your home will be nice and warm when you need it to be and if you find any issues that need to be addressed, you won’t be stuck dealing with them on an unpleasantly cold day. Here are a few of the best things you can do to get your home ready for cooler weather.
If you want to avoid any unwelcome surprises when the weather turns cold, the best thing you can do is call a professional to give your furnace an annual inspection early in the fall. According to Angie’s List, many furnace repair experts say the majority of emergency calls they get during the winter months could have been prevented with routine maintenance. Not only will routine maintenance help you avoid being left in the cold with a big emergency repair bill, it will keep your furnace running more efficiently.
During a basic furnace inspection, the technician will make sure your furnace can start up properly and that its control system is working, inspect its electrical components, check the burner, make sure its moving parts are in good condition, and check to make sure its drain pipes and vents aren’t blocked. Air filters should be replaced every couple of months and if it’s time for your filter to be replaced, the technician can certainly do that for you, but it’s very easy to change those without the help of a professional.
Make Sure Heating Vents are Clear
Have you made any changes to the rooms around your house over the summer? Maybe you got some new furniture or decided to rearrange things. If this is the case, you may want to look around just to make sure none of your changes are blocking your vents. When vents are blocked, they prevent heat from circulating around the room and force your furnace to work harder, which can increase your energy bills.
Check Windows and Doors
It’s never a bad time of year to check your exterior doors and windows to look for problems like drafts, worn weatherstripping, and caulking that needs to be touched up. The sooner you’re able to catch these sorts of problems, the better off you’ll be because they can make your house uncomfortable and drive up your energy bills if they’re not taken care of. If you have older windows and your energy bills are consistently higher than you think they ought to be, having vinyl replacement windows installed can help bring your heating and cooling bills down.
Inspect Your Chimney and Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, now would be a good time to inspect it and your chimney to make sure it’s safe and ready to be used. Even if everything was perfectly fine last year, birds have been known to build nests in chimneys and branches and leaves can fall in and cause blockages. If you see signs of soot buildup, call a professional to have your chimney cleaned because a buildup of soot can be a fire hazard. Check to make sure the damper on your fireplace is still working properly. From the outside of your home, make sure there aren’t any signs of physical deterioration on the chimney, like missing or crumbling bricks, or flashing between the chimney and your house that has become unsecure.