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For many the winter is a welcome relief from the heat of the summer. For others, it represents the major holiday season and the start of a new year. It means lower cooling bills and higher heating bills. It can also lead to problems if your home is not properly prepared. Here are some steps to make sure your home is prepared for colder weather.
Have Your Fireplace Professionally Cleaned. Chimney fires are no joke. They are often the result of the buildup of creosote on the interior of the chimney’s walls. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there’s an average of over 25,000 chimney fires each year. These fires result in about 30 deaths annually with property damage of over $125 million. The single best way to prevent these fires is to make sure your chimney gets a thorough annual cleaning. This will scrub the buildup of creosote from your chimney making it safer and more efficient. The beginning of the cold weather season is the perfect time to get this done.
Change Furnace Filters. Changing furnace filters is one of the easiest, least expensive home maintenance tasks you can do for your home. It pays dividends in more efficient heating and lower heating bills. It should be done at least every-other-month during the heating season starting in the fall.
Clear Gutters. Many don’t recognize the damage clogged gutters and downspouts can do, especially in the winter. Backed up water can flow back up onto the roof or behind the gutters to damage the siding. When water isn’t properly draining away from your home it can damage the home’s foundation.
Perform a Walk-Around. One simple way to make sure your home is ready for winter is to perform a walk-around inspection of your property. Visually inspect the roof for bubbling or missing shingles. Check windows to make sure there are no cracks, leaks and to ensure caulking is sufficient. Check siding for signs of wear, water or insect damage. Make sure tree limbs are not touching the roof. These simple steps can uncover problems before they become a burden to fix.
The change of seasons is an excellent time to conduct routine maintenance to keep your home looking and performing well. It can also keep you safer and save you money in the long term. It may also be a good time for a homeowners’ insurance review. We can help make sure your coverage is keeping up with the times. Contact us for your no-cost, no-obligation review.