24 Oct Get Your Home Ready for the Cold with These End-of-Summer Tips
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The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler– it’s time to prepare your house for the change of seasons! It’s best to do these kinds of updates and repairs in the fall while the weather is still temperate. You also don’t want to be burdened with the work once the busy holiday season rolls around. Prioritize the tasks your home needs most and knock them out so you can enjoy winter with less stress.
Set Ceiling Fans to Clockwise
Once you turn on your heat, changing the direction of your ceiling fans clockwise creates an updraft that pushes hot air down. If the ceiling fans in your home have reverse switches, you can complete this chore with a touch. While you should do this with all the fans in your house, it’s especially important on the second floor and in rooms with high ceilings. Keeping the heat down where you can feel it– rather than rising up as it does naturally– allows you to use less. Turning down your thermostat a couple of degrees saves you money on your heating bill.
Protect Pipes from Freezing
If the water in your pipes freezes, you run the risk of damaging your plumbing system when the pipes burst. If you live in an area where the temperature regularly drops below freezing, you’ll want to perform some preventative measures that can help. Drain the water from hoses, pools, and sprinklers as per manufacturer’s directions. Insulate your pipes and add insulation to the attic, basement, and other areas that feel the cold most. Never let your home’s temperature drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit– even if you are not there. When the forecast spells a freeze coming on, turn on the faucets of your home just enough to let them drip. The movement of water–small and slow as it may be– can prevent freezing.
Replace Filters to Heating and Air Systems
The general rule of thumb for changing air filters is if it looks dirty, change it! There’s a good chance that after working hard cooling your home throughout the summer, your filters are ready for a refresh. If your heating and air filter is dirty, the HVAC system has to work that much harder to heat your home in the winter. Changing the filters can reduce allergies and cut down on heating costs as the weather cools down.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When the holidays roll around, there are plenty of carbon monoxide and holiday fire risks around the home. There are various models that may suit your needs so checking them isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation. Smoke detectors should be mounted as high as possible while still being accessible. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside each bedroom. If your alarms use batteries, replace dead ones and stock up on the size or model you need for quick replacement when the time comes. If you’re willing to make the investment, lithium batteries provide long life and rarely need to be changed.
Your home is the heart of your family. Its upkeep and maintenance may be time consuming, but it’s necessary for the safety and comfort you want during the winter months. Setting your ceiling fans to clockwise allows optimal airflow that keeps heat where you can feel it and reduces your energy costs. Protecting your pipes from freezing helps prevent expensive damage that can disrupt your day-to-day life. Replacing the filters in your heating and air systems reduces seasonal allergies and ensures your HVAC system runs efficiently. Finally, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to protect your family during the hazardous holiday season.