There are several steps we can take to prepare for the arrival of Old Man Winter. These steps can make sure he does not get the best of you.
- Get your furnace serviced. Call a local, trusted HVAC company so they can check and make sure your furnace operates as efficiently as possible. An efficiently running furnace will go a long way in keeping your utility bills manageable. If you do not already have a programmable thermostat you may want to think about having one installed. They let you program the house to be cooler while you’re at work and the kids are at school and then warmer when you arrive back home.
- Make sure all windows and doors are closed and sealed as best as possible. Any time you are running the furnace, drafts will cause heat to escape. When heat escapes it makes your furnace run more often, thus increasing your utility bills.
- Do not forget to clean the gutters. When snow starts falling, ice can build up in your gutters, and if leaves and debris obstruct them then water will not be able to flow into the downspout, which can lead to ice damage. When water has nowhere to go it will often find its way under shingles, down your wall and into your ceiling causing a lot of damage.
- Fill in all cracks and concrete caulk areas of your driveway and sidewalk in need. Ice often builds up in these areas and can get underneath and actually lift large areas of concrete. This can cause an uneven surface with potential trip hazards.
- If you have a fireplace make sure it is cleaned and serviced. The piece of mind of knowing everything is operating in a safe manner is worth the cost. Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace they are fun to enjoy and can always light up a room.
- Last but not least make sure to change all the batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide detectors. We live in a world of space heaters, electric blankets and other items which, if unattended, have a potential to cause fire. Making sure they’re operating appropriately can help ensure that Old Man Winter does not get the best of you!
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Author: Tony Carcioppolo