Adventures in Home Owning: Preparing your Home for Fall
At the end of the summer, we took steps to prepare our homes for the coming seasons. From checking your home for drafts and cracks to cleaning up your gutters and lawns, hopefully, our August article helped you to get a head start on battening down the hatches. However, the long sunny days of summer are officially over and now that there’s frost on the grass and pumpkins on the porch it really is time to make those final preparations for the fall and winter season.
All that hard work you put into checking doors and windows for drafty areas? Don’t let it go to waste by not properly caring for your heating system before it gets dusted off. Whether you heat by fireplace or stove, furnace or pellet stove, make sure you have your heating units cleaned and inspected both for safety and functionality. While you’re at it, a fully functioning heating unit is only as good as its fuel, so make sure you’ve got an ample stock of firewood, propane, or pellets to last you through the winter months.
As wonderful as heating units can be, they also can be expensive, even with cracks sealed up and smoothly running appliances. Help outfit your home in a way that will keep heat in without burning more fuel. One simple way is to reverse your ceiling fans which have been rotating counterclockwise all summer. By reversing their direction to clockwise you’ll deplete that breeze factor you loved so much in August, and instead, scoop the warm air rising to your ceilings back down and into your rooms. Additionally, fabric is your friend moving into these colder months. Deck out your home just as you would deck out a child heading out to build a snowman: heavier curtains on the windows will help keep warm air inside the home, while flannel and fleece sheets on beds and draped over couches will provide an extra layer of coziness for those nestled inside.
Finally, now is as good a time as ever to be proactive in the uphill battle to stay warm this winter. Stock your home with supplies to be used in emergencies and take the time to check and service any emergency appliances. Heavy snows, winter winds, and devastating ice storms can wreak havoc with your electricity. Now is a wonderful time to make sure your generator is up and running, and that you have enough fuel stored for it. Stocking your emergency cabinet with flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches also wouldn’t be a bad idea. When a storm is forecasted these items will fly off the shelves; if you already have them stocked up you can save yourself some stress and the dreaded run to the pre-storm convenience store.
Making these last minute adjustments can lead to a smoother transition into winter and happier heating for all.
Until next time, homeowner!