It’s fall, and you may already be pulling out your sweaters and hunting out your boots. Don’t forget to make sure your house is ready for winter too.
Change your ceiling fans to clockwise.
If you have ceiling fans, change them to a clockwise direction. This pushes hot air along the ceiling towards the floor and produces warmer air.
Fill in the cracks. On a windy day, close your windows and door and check for air leaks. You can also light a stick of incense and hold it near windows or doors to see if the smoke moves, indicating an air leak. Check the caulk around your doors and windows outside for deterioration; re-caulk if necessary or use weather stripping. For windows, window insulation film and even bubble wrap can help keep the heat in.
Draft dodger. Your gramma was on to something. Old fashioned draft dodgers keep warm air in and cold air out. A rolled towel will also work.
It’s time to turn off the AC.
Remove the AC unit from your window, or use an air conditioning unit cover.
Take your heating system for a test run. You do not want to find out that your furnace doesn’t work when you fire it up on the first cold day of the year. If you have an oil or propane furnace, make sure your fuel tank is full. Replace filters and check heating vents for obstacles. Have a technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure everything is in good working order.
Check the chimney to make sure the birds and squirrels have moved out for the winter. Have your chimney cleaned.
Insulate exposed pipes.
If you have any exposed water or drain pipes in areas such as in a crawlspace or attic, make sure to insulate them with heating tape and/or foam insulation.
Turn off exterior faucets. Disconnect and drain your garden hose. Blow compressed air through sprinkler lines to clear out any remaining water and prevent them from freezing.
Check the roof for damage, such as loose or missing shingles, that may leak. Use binoculars if you can’t climb up on the roof.
Clean the Gutters
Clogged gutters now will lead to pockets of frozen ice later, causing debris to back up and potentially cause damage.
Taking the time to winterize your home now while the geese are flying will save you problems and money later when the snow is flying.