PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR WINTER
Fall is a good time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. A few extra steps in the fall can have a dramatic impact on your safety, your comfort, and your utility costs this winter.
Clean Out Gutters
Cleaning out gutters isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but it is an important task especially in areas with deciduous trees (trees that lose leaves in the fall). Gutters clogged with leaves and debris can lead to ice damming during winter. Ice dams can be destructive and lead to costly repairs. Click here to learn more about ice dams>
Cut Back Trees & Bushes Around Your Home
During winter months, wildlife critters look for easy access to shelter. Residential attics are common targets for these unwanted visitors. The best way to prevent attic wildlife infestations is to limit access. Raccoons and other woodland animals often use trees and bushes adjacent to the building to gain access to the roof and from there gain access to your attic through unprotect roof or soffit vents.
Have Your Furnace inspected
It is smart to have your furnace inspected and tested before cold weather hits. Proactive maintenance can minimize surprises and reduce repair expenses. You don’t want your holiday’s interrupted by a furnace outage. You may not be able to get a rapid response at a reasonable rate from your HVAC contractor given it is their peak season.
Test Your Fireplace
Testing your fireplace in the fall will help identify problems and give you plenty of time to call out a chimney sweep or have a stuck flew fixed before you plan to cozy up on those cold nights in front of the fire.
According to the most recent statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 25,100 chimney fires are responsible for 30 deaths and $126.1 million in property damage on average each year.
The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to have an annual inspection performed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Click to learn more>
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Change Batteries
It can be easy to forget to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. But it really does take as much time as you might think. In fact, it only takes a few minutes each.
Press the test button then wait a few seconds, a loud, ear-piercing siren should emanate from the smoke or carbon detector while the button is pressed. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries. If your detectors are over 10 years old, replace them, they are no longer reliable according to most manufacturers.
Identify Air Leaks & Gaps Around Doors & Windows
When you spend a lot of money heating your home during winter, you don’t want to find out that the expensive air is leaking out into the cold through air gaps and cracks around doors, windows, or pipes. There are several ways to test for air leaks in your home. The department of energy provides a comprehensive approach. Click here to learn more>
Fortunately, sealing air leaks is an affordable way to keep your heated air in and maintain uniform comfort in your home during the winter months.
Set Your Humidifier For Winter
Fall is the right time to adjust your home humidifier. Take care not to set your humidifier higher than 30%. The recommend moisture level in your home is 38%, but cooking, cleaning, and taking showers also add to the moisture in the air. Moisture levels higher than 38 percent can lead to moisture-related issues including mold problems not just in living spaces but also in your attic.
Inspect Your Attic for Problems
Your attic has a job to do. It isn’t there to provide added storage space. Your attic helps to maintain comfortable living spaces when properly vented and insulated. But your attic can have problems and those problems can get worse if ignored for long periods of time.
Moisture from living spaces can rise and collect in your attic. Attic moisture can lead to mold and mold can lead to the deterioration of structural elements of your roof and cause health problems for occupants with compromised immune systems or allergies.
As mentioned earlier, wildlife can take up residence in your attic space. They do this for shelter and nesting offspring. These critters can contaminate attic insulation with feces and urine and represent a health risk to occupants in the home. Click here to learn more>
If you suspect your attic is infested with wildlife do not attempt to remove the creatures on your own. Don’t let their size fool you, these animals are dangerous. Contact professional wildlife removal specialists like Critter Detectives.
These are just a few things you can do to prepare your home for winter! I am sure there are several other tasks you will want to tackle before that first snowfall! The time you spend getting your home ready for winter will pay off and ensure a safe and comfortable winter season!
THE ATTIC EXPERTS
We are The Attic Experts – offering attic insulation, ventilation, bathroom exhaust fans, attic fans, whole-house fans, attic vents, soffit vents, and more. We have been servicing Chicago and the surrounding suburbs for over 20 years. We offer FREE attic inspections. Call us to schedule your inspection today at 630.941.3800.