Now that the leaves have started to turn here in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s the best time to start putting good practices into play to prepare for colder temperatures. Proactive maintenance now can save you both time and money, allowing you to enjoy football and the changing of the seasons worry-free. Here’s your game plan.
Once the leaves are down, but before temperatures drop, spend an afternoon with a ladder and clean the accumulated debris out of your home’s gutters. Clogged gutters impede free water flow, and left unattended, they can lead to ice dams building up once the weather turns frigid. A thorough maintenance cleaning now will decrease your chances of having to call for help come winter. For further protection, once the gutters are clean, consider installing guards to keep new debris from refilling the gutters.
Now that sprinkler season and weekly car washes are a thing of the past, it’s time to take care of outside water sources. Disconnect and drain garden hoses. The same goes for outside fountains. Draining remaining water now will ensure both the hoses and your decorative fountain are both ready for use next year. Turn off outside faucets at the interior shut-off to prevent freezing, cracking and leaking.
Don’t wait for cold temperatures to ensure that your furnace, heat pump, or geothermal system is ready for the next season. Schedule standard maintenance visits now while dates are still available. Report any system issues that you may have noticed, and check the furnace filter before you turn the unit on for the first time this year. Clear the area around the furnace in preparation for a service call, and to keep your home and family safe.
Temperate days are a good time to check your attic insulation. Check for loose batting and damp insulation. Look for bare spots that could benefit from additional insulation. Beefing up your insulation now will result in lower heating costs some winter. Inspect your home’s windows as well. Now might be a good time to upgrade to more energy-efficient windows and doors for additional comfort and cost savings. Not only will these upgrades benefit you immediately, they add long-term value to your home.
As with everything in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Investing time and energy now will save you aggravation this winter and next spring. And, as a bonus, you’ll have more time to watch your favorite teams, all from the true comfort of your own home.