Winterizing Your Home: 5 Projects for First-Time Homeowners
Every season affects your home differently, and it’s important for first-time homeowners to understand how. Having relied on your parents, landlords, or college housing in the past, first-time homeowners may not understand all the work that goes into protecting your home against the changing seasons. This is especially true for the colder, darker winter months.
It might sound complicated — or even a little intimidating — at first, but winterizing your home doesn’t have to be hard. With that in mind, here are five important projects that all homeowners should consider as the cooler months approach.
Service Your Furnace
Before turning on the heat to keep the chill out of the air, you’ll want to have your furnace serviced. Hire a professional to make sure everything is safe and issue-free during the fall so you don’t risk watching the first snowfall inside a house that’s as cold as the outside! There are also a few year-round DIY tasks homeowners can tackle to keep the furnace working smoothly, like changing your air filter every three months and cleaning obstructions from the vents.
Clean Your Chimney
There are about 25,000 chimney fires in the US each year, and the vast majority of them are preventable. The easiest and most effective way to prevent chimney fires in the winter is to make sure your chimney and fireplace are thoroughly cleaned before winter sets in. As HomeAdvisor explains, clearing the area of creosote and soot can reduce your fire risk. Also, make checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors a part of your maintenance.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks can suck the heat out of your home, which skyrockets your heating bills. Checking for leaks gives you a chance to seal them before the temperature begins to change. One easy way to check for leaks is to use your hand. On a chilly day, place your hand near corners and edges of exterior windows and doors. If you feel cool air, you likely have a leak. According to Gagne, caulk is a simple fix to keep hot air in and cool air out.
Wash and Pack Up Summer Gear
Have you been enjoying the summer to its fullest? Be sure to clean and store your outdoor gear; patio furniture, outdoor toys, and camping gear are a few good places to start. You may be able to continue to use some of these items during the winter, but it might be helpful to seal, paint, or cover them to protect them against the cold, wet winter air. If you store these items, be sure to use a climate-controlled environment to protect them from mold, water damage, and cracking.
Rake Your Leaves
As a first-time homeowner, you may only think your lawn needs attention in the summer when mowing becomes a weekly chore. However, winterizing your lawn keeps it healthy and growing year-round. You’ll first want to decide how to handle your leaves. There is a lot of debate out there about whether it’s actually good for your lawn — and the environment — to rake, bag, and dispose of leaves. Most experts agree that lawns that get inundated with leaves should rake, but that leaving some leaves behind can fertilize your grass and gardens.
Moving into your first home is an exciting time, but the responsibility of being a homeowner can frequently feel overwhelming. So, be sure to keep a handy checklist of common maintenance tasks so that your property is happy and healthy — both as a home and an investment. More serious issues will arise; that’s inevitable. However, if you can keep up with these seasonal demands, you’ll be able to prolong or even prevent many of them.
This article was provided to us courtesy of winterizeguys.com.