Get Your Home Ready for Winter
As the weather begins to get colder, your to-do list seems to get longer and longer. Upcoming holidays means preparing your home for guests and shopping for gifts. Fall and winter sports are beginning, and children are getting involved in holiday and school plays and musicals. And, of course, your car, lawn, and automobiles must all be prepped for the harsher winter weather. Sometimes, this time of year can seem overwhelming, but if you take the time to prepare your home for winter now, you won’t need to worry about potentially dangerous and expensive problems when the harsh temps hit.
Step One: Get Professional Inspections
Frozen pipes, broken furnaces, and faulty smoke detectors are just a few of the things that are commonly reported around wintertime. However, they can be easily prevented. According to About.Com Home Buying/Selling Guide Elizabeth Weintraub (http://www.mosaicartsupply.com/mosaicinstructions.htm), you should schedule a number of professional inspections when winter is coming your way, including furnace, plumbing, and foundation inspections. Let’s face it, you’re probably not an expert in plumbing, electric, foundations, etc. Even though you may do research online or through books, you’re probably not qualified to make sure your home is ready for the winter. If you take the risk to inspect your home yourself, you could end up with some serious problems during the coldest months—problems that could leave you relocating to a hotel for a few weeks and forfeiting much of your salary. Most professionals don’t charge a lot for home inspections, so by hiring them, you’re not only preventing potential problems but also saving money.
Step Two: Prepare Your Home to Keep The Heat In
Before it starts to get too cold, get your home ready to fight the frigid air by insulating it against the cold. According to Real-Estate-Agents.Com (http://real-estate-agents.com/tips/maintenance/ready-for-winter/), you might want to consider adding extra insulation into your attic at this time. You can also create an air seal around doors and windows to keep you heat in and the cold out. Energy Star (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing) recommends that you choose Energy Star approved windows, but if you’re not ready to replace your windows this year, you can always use do-it-yourself sealing techniques to fight cold air as much as you can.
Step Three: Make Energy Reducing Changes
In most cases, winter comes with higher energy bills, but there are a number of things you can do to use less energy in the winter, saving money. These include unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, choosing new, energy saving appliances, and hiring an energy inspector to tell you other, personal ways in which your household can save energy. The Consumer Energy Center (http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/winterize.html) also suggests that you change your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs, which can cut down on the total energy cost you use during the winter.