There are some climates that never truly see cold winter weather. For example, there are several cities in California that might not see temperatures drop below 50 degrees. So, all the home maintenance articles you see online about preparing your home for Old Man Winter don’t necessarily apply to your situation. However, there are several home maintenance projects you can do to make sure your humble abode stays in tip-top shape.
Keep Drafts Out
While the days will stay relatively warm and won’t drop below freezing, it can get pretty chilly at night once the sun goes down. To keep drafts out, add weather stripping to your doors and windows. This will not only keep your home warmer, but when the temperature starts to rise, you’ll keep cool air from escaping. Installing weather stripping is relatively easy and only takes a few budget-friendly materials, including weather-stripping of your choice (adhesive is the most popular), detergent, sponge, and caulk if you notice any gaps or holes. You can also block door drafts by creating your own door snake using fabric of your choice cut to the perfect length. Inexpensive door snakes can also be purchased at most home goods stores.
Clean Your HVAC System
If you live in a warm climate, it’s not surprising if the temperatures rise to scorching levels, meaning you make your HVAC system work overtime to keep your home cool. Cleaning your HVAC system should be an annual activity, but if you live in an area of high pollution and/or allergy levels, have pets, or have family members with respiratory issues, cleaning might need to be done a little more often. While cleaning the ducts should be left to a professional, cleaning the unit itself is a project you can handle on your own to save money. Touting a total of cost of $50 to $100 and taking up about a half a day, you’ll need a few basic, reusable tools/materials including a screwdriver, garden hose, a fin tool, foil tape, and a coil cleaner.
Clean Out Gutters
Depending on where you live, you might not experience a true fall and winter with falling leaves and bare trees, but you aren’t completely immune. Plus, you may experience a wet winter, so you’ll want those gutters to do their job. There are several ways to clean the gutters, one of which uses a garden hose. If your hose has the right attachment, you can accomplish this from the ground; if not, use a ladder to run water through the gutters and flush out any debris. Other options to use while you have the ladder out are a leaf blower and power washer. While you’re up there, give your roof a quick look-over for signs of damage such as buckling, missing or broken shingles, cracked rubber around vent pipes, cracked caulk, and rust spots. A professional should fix these issues, but catching them early could save you a roof leak later.
Take Safety Precautions
If the colder nights don’t bother you too much and you’d prefer to use a space heater as opposed to turning on the furnace, it is absolutely imperative that you install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector, as well as test them to ensure they are working properly. Fires can spread quickly, and carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is extremely toxic and can be fatal. Using a drill and screwdriver, install smoke alarms on each floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom, as well as hallways outside of sleeping areas. Test the unit and make a note on your calendar to change the batteries at least once every six months.
While other parts of the world are seeing snow, you’re still enjoying warm temperatures. Your home might not have to withstand a blizzard, but there are several things you can do to get it ready for winter. Block out drafts, clean your HVAC system and gutters and add home safety devices for a problem-free winter.
Article Contribution by Paul Denikin