Timing is Everything: 6 Fall Home Tips to Do Now
The following suggestions will help you save time, money, and frustration this winter.The following suggestions will help you save time, money, and frustration this winter.
1) Cover Outdoor Faucets – Add a $2 hose bib protector to all outdoor faucets to prevent cold air from reaching interior pipes. These inexpensive little things sell out in the winter so buy yours this weekend and get ‘em installed. Make sure your garden hoses are detached from all faucets. You’ve already blown out your sprinklers, right?!
2) Buy Appliances – Do you need a new dishwasher or range? Sep-Dec is a prime time to score a deal as manufacturers are selling off this year’s models to make room for next year’s, which are released within the month of December.
3) Trim Branches in Front of Windows – Allow as much natural light as possible to shine into your home. Trim back any large bushes and branches now to aid in passive solar heat transfer during colder months.
4) Optimize Air Flow in the House – Did you know that the blades in most ceiling fans will rotate in both directions? Flip the switch so that blades circulate in a clockwise direction. Instead of pushing air down to cool, they will pull air up and help to distribute the heat in your home more efficiently.
5) Wash Windows Now – We all love the Colorado sunshine. Let as much light as possible in this winter by cleaning your windows now. If you plan to do the work yourself then take advantage of warmish temperatures now. If you plan to use a professional then hire them soon as they can sometimes book out around the holidays.
6) Clean Gutters – Remove leaves, needles, and dirt that may prevent water from draining dammed up water will freeze in colder temps and can lead to busted gutters, which in-turn lead to improper drainage around your home and a cascade of water-related problems that you don’t want to have to think about.
7) Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up and Vacuum Those Vents – Don’t wait for your furnace to go down during the first snowstorm. Schedule an HVAC person to inspect the combustion chamber for corrosion, filters for replacement (you can do this yourself), and assess for system leaks. If you haven’t ever had your vents vacuumed then you may want to do this too. Dirt, animal dander, and construction debris (if your home is new or newly remodeled) settles in the ventilation and will begin recirculating once your heat kicks on.
8) Insulate At-Risk Pipes – Is your plumbing older or improperly insulated? Evaluate problem pipes in unheated areas like garages, attics, and crawl spaces now and get them insulated with foam or heat tape, especially if you plan to travel over the winter and will leave your house cooler during your absence. We’ve all heard those stories…”We had just returned from Barbados (or other similarly sunny and wonderful location) and walked into 1 inch of standing water in our kitchen.”