Fall has arrived, it’s time to get ready for the cold season! Here are some tips to help prepare your home for the upcoming months:
1.) Furnace/Boiler Inspection
Be proactive and hire a HVAC professional to come to your home to check your unit(s) for functionality, heating efficiency and also for carbon monoxide to ensure safety. It’s money well spent to minimize/hopefully prevent a possible issue. We all know, the weather can change to cold quickly here in Michigan and if there is a problem, it will reveal itself at the worst possible time. Remember to change filters regularly!
2.) Winterize Air Conditioning
If you have central air conditioning, it’s a good idea to cover your outside unit for the winter. If you are using window air conditioners you should remove them from the windows. Wall air conditioning units should also be covered to prevent leaks and/or drafts.
3.) Programmable Wall Thermostats
A great way to save money, if sufficiently used and programmed. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you are not home can make a significant difference on your heat bill. If you do not currently have a programmable wall thermostat, you may want to consider purchasing one.
Good windows & doors make a big difference! But even with older windows & doors, there are several things that can be done to help control heat loss. Weather stripping, caulking, plastic shrink film & heavy insulated drapes make a world of a difference.
5.) Test Home Safety Devices
Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, replace as necessary per manufacturers’ recommendations.
6.) Clean & Prepare Humidifiers
Vinegar works really well for cleaning the inside compartments, replace old filters.
7.) Roof Inspection
It is very important to check for missing, damaged, loose or raised shingles and to make sure that flat roofs are free of leaves and debris. If you don’t feel comfortable with checking your own roof, you may want to hire a professional to assist you.
8.) Check Chimneys and Fireplaces
If you have a wood burning fireplace, have it inspected & cleaned by a professional.
Make sure to have enough on hand and if you gather your own firewood, make sure it is dry and ready. In any case, it is best to cover firewood and to store it away from the house.
9.) Window Wells
Check to make sure that they are clean and install covers if there currently aren’t any.
10.) Keep Gutters Clean
You may need to check your gutters periodically, or may want to ask someone to help you throughout the fall season to make sure that they are not clogged up with leaves or other debris and that there are no leaks.
11.) Check Water Drainage
Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and should direct water away from foundations, walkways and driveways. You can add extensions if necessary.
12.) Windows & Doors
Check around the outside to inspect the caulking and seals of all doors and windows.
13.) Faucets & Hoses
When no longer needed, disconnect and drain garden hoses, you may need to turn off a valve inside your home to shut off exterior faucets (particularly in older homes). Also, insulated faucet covers are inexpensive and easy to install.
14.) Test Your Generator
If you have an emergency generator for power outages, be sure to give it a test and make sure it is in good working order, store extra gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches.
15.) Get Winter Equipment ready
Make sure to service your snow blower/thrower and keep your snow shovel nearby.
All the best for the upcoming season!
Randy and Yvonne Hoyt
Licensed Realtors & Home Marketing Specialists
RE/MAX Mid-Michigan Real Estate
2300 W. Michigan Avenue
Jackson, MI 49202