As we move into October, the mornings and evenings are getting cooler. The leaves are changing and soon dew will give way to frost. Never far behind that is the winter weather that will grip the area from sometime in November until spring breaks months later. With the memory of last years late winter storm fresh in everyone's mind, one of the questions I get most frequently is about what people should do to get ready for the winter weather.
There are a number of answers to this question, depending on your budget and your goals. With that in mind, I will start with some easy and inexpensive steps that people can take to improve the efficiency of their homes.
Since the winter months means closed windows and doors, this is an important time to verify that your combustion appliances are working correctly. Inefficient stoves and furnaces can release carbon monoxide and other gases that can be dangerous in a sealed up home. With this in mind, make sure your filters are replaced when they should be and if you have not had these appliances serviced for a while, I would recommend doing so.
Another important aspect of getting ready for winter is to make sure your home is properly sealed. Air sealing a home is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to ensure that the conditioned air we pay for stays in the house where it should be. To help with this you should inspect your windows and doors and make sure that there are tight seals between window sash's and frames and doors and frames. If these area's are not sealed properly, often new weather stripping can make a big difference. On the outside of your home, you should look around window and door frames and make sure that they are properly caulked. Adding new weather stripping and caulking are both items that can generally be handled by homeowners for a fairly low cost.
Since last years harsh weather lead to ice dams in many gutters which in turn damaged roofs and leaked into homes, I would recommend that all homeowners take a look at their gutters and make sure that they are clean and clear (keep watching to make sure that falling leaves dont clog them up later). Further, you should make sure that the gutter is properly attached to the home so that later in the winter it does not fall off under the weight of the ice it may be forced to carry.
By taking a look at these basic areas, a homeowner can help to improve both the safety and efficiency of their homes. If you are looking to make even greater improvements to your home before this year's winter weather sets in, then please call Legacy Remodeling so that I can have one of our skilled design consultants come out to help you plan upgrades to your home. While the up front investment for these types of projects is more costly than a tube of caulking, installing new high efficiency windows, insulated siding or blown in attic insulation will all pay off handsomely in the long term.
If you would like to know more about home efficiency or want to ensure that you project is completed before the nasty weather arrives, please call Legacy Remodeling today and we will do our best to help you save money this winter.