Fall is here, which is the favorite season for many people, but after fall comes winter. There are many actions you can take to prepare for colder weather, and prevent some common claims that sometimes hurt your premium.
While the cooler weather means sweaters and blankets, it also means you will probably be cranking the furnace back on for the first time in a few months. Before you do, this is a great time to have a yearly check up on it. They will clean and maintain it, which will help prolong the life of your furnace. Hopefully it avoids break downs during the time of year that you actually need it. Also, make sure that you replace your furnace filter. It’s a good idea to have a few on hand so you can change them regularly.
2. Smoke Detectors
Change the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. This is important all year around, but especially during the winter. Your furnace can actually release carbon monoxide if it broken, and this can be extremely dangerous. Just change those batteries, and you will be protected. Smoke detectors can also affect your home insurance premium.
Make sure all of your windows are closed and locked. If there are any repairs you need to make, do so before cold weather comes. If you still feel drafts of cold air coming through, putting plastic over the window is a great idea. They sell kits that make this very simple, or just cut it to size yourself. If your windows are old, upgrading those (when possible) can make a huge difference in the efficiency.
Doors are common areas that air can come into your home. Installing weather strips can help reduce drafts. Just make sure that these don’t make it difficult to open and close the door.
5. Chimney (If Applicable)
Not as many houses still have wood stoves or fireplaces, but nothing beats a nice fire in the winter cold. Stoves and fireplaces can be extremely dangerous and can even burn your home down if you don’t properly maintain it. Soot and residue build up inside your chimney can ignite and cause fires. Also, think about where you stack wood and try to keep it away from your home.
Once snow comes, it can be pretty difficult to make repairs or do work outside. Plan ahead and take care of normal maintenance. For example, cleaning out your gutters will help prevent ice buildup since the water can drain properly. Drain the fuel out of your gas powered tools and equipment, and rake leaves so you don’t have to next spring.
These are just a few tips to prepare for the fall and winter months. Do these now so you can enjoy the seasons without worry.