There’s a touch of chill in the morning air and a hint of winter on the way. In other words, there’s no time like the present to prepare your home for the coming cold season.
What to do?
Follow this checklist from Real Simple magazine:
Wash your windows. Who wants to look out of streaked windows all winter long? Get a microfiber cloth and a spray bottle filled with glass cleaner or water mixed with dishwashing liquid. Then wait for a cloudy day so you can see any streaks — and get busy wiping away the grime.
Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil. This chore is easy to ignore, but neglect can result in an inefficient refrigerator that costs more to operate— and expensive service calls. Remove the base grille, then dust the coils and vacuum up dust and dirt.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is quite literally a lifesaving task. Don’t procrastinate.
Replace the furnace filter. This should be done every one-two months in order to help your furnace run more efficiently.
Sweep the chimney. Hire a professional to inspect and sweep fireplace flues and chimneys.
Clean the gutters. After the snow flies, it will melt. If your gutters are clogged, the resulting water will spill out near your foundation, causing potential water damage. Remove all detritus before the first storm.
Store garden hoses. Be sure all water is drained from the hoses before putting them away. Otherwise, the water will freeze during cold weather, causing cracks in the hose.
Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. This will help avoid drafts, which can cause unnecessarily expensive heating bills.
Clean patio furniture. Do this and you’ll thank yourself when you take the furniture out next summer.
Check exterior paint. Peeling paint exposes the wood underneath to damaging winds, rain and snow. Touch up any worn spots to protect your home.