It’s almost that time of year again. The weather is getting cooler. Leaves have started falling and creating that wonderful smell. Am I the only one that loves the scent of decomposing leaves in fall?
Here are some tips for preparing your home for a cozy winter:
Clean your gutters
Get up on that ladder or hire a handy person. Clean your eavestroughs so that and leaf and debris clogs don’t form ice dams in colder weather to prevent them from working properly.
Check for drafts
On a windy day, feel for drafts along your doors and windows. You can use a candle and watch for it to flicker. Repair seals and caulking, and consider weather stripping around doors. Seal air leaks around the chimney, furnace, and water heater vents.
Maintain your heating system
Make sure the filter is cleaned (reusable ones can be vacuumed or pressure washed) or replaced. Check your vents and make sure they’re not blocked – if so, your vacuum can help clear the debris. Schedule a heating check-up to maintain your system and make sure it’s in tip-top shape.
Fully clear out the debris and ash and start the cooler season with a clean slate. Hire a professional to check the chimney and give it a good sweeping. For locals, folks we know recommend Nixon Sweep and Cookie the Sweep.
Put away summer accessories
Outdoor hoses should be drained and stored indoors. Cover your air conditioning units (and remove portable ones from windows). Outdoor furniture should be maintained: wooden furniture should be resealed to protect the wood and then covered. Seal metal furniture and protect from rust with wax or paint. Wash your plastic and wicker furniture. Store cushions indoors to prevent mold from developing on the inside or out.
Clean the oven
With the feasts for the holidays coming, it’s a good time to clean your oven. Thankfully many ovens have a self-cleaning function now. Just make sure you open the windows when you use it for good ventilation! No self-cleaning function? There are lots of products out there for oven cleaning, or use good old baking soda and vinegar (how-to here).
What have I missed? Let us know what to add to this list.