Autumn in the Midwest is a beautiful time of year! This is also a great time to start prepping for winter to make sure you stay warm and cozy throughout the season. Following these tips can help make your home safer and more energy-efficient:
Check for leaks:
Replace worn weather stripping and caulk.
If windows leak, consider replacing them with energy efficient models. If replacement is out of the question, install inexpensive window plastic for relief from wind and cold.
Inexpensive plastic, metal, or wooden draft stoppers can be screwed or glued to the bottoms of doors. Consider replacing old doors, or if you can afford it, hire a contractor to perform a blower door test on your home to locate air leaks.
Purchase and install foam gaskets behind the electric wall switch plates to prevent leaks. Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use. This also keeps small critters from flying or crawling around inside your chimney. Having your wood burning fireplace professionally cleaned is also a great idea if it gets a lot of use during the winter months.
Close crawlspace vents during the summer and winter and leave open in spring and fall.
Check your heating and air conditioning systems:
Remember, it's more cost effective to maintain than it is to repair. Professional service should include cleaning, checking, and lubricating the system.
Replace your heater's air filter monthly so the system will work more efficiently. Ensure that the thermostat and pilot lights work properly, and check ducts for leaks.
Consider updating your heating system to a modern one with an efficiency rating over 97%. We are experts at smart home technology! Let us know if we can help with converting your thermostat to a smart device which is not only helpful with energy efficiency, but can also help to increase the value of your home.
Insulate your attic. In an older home, this is the most efficient way to reduce home heating costs. Make sure your home is insulated at all levels-floor, wall, and ceiling.
Trim trees and dead branches to prevent weather-related winter accidents.
Clean your gutters. Fallen leaves in rain gutters block water flow from rain and melting snow.
Keep snow and ice from accumulating around your garage door.
Lester Panek has been proudly helping local home owners and buyers with their real estate needs since 1994! He’d be happy to assist you with ways to increase your home value and any other real estate needs you may have!