(ARA) - With winter quickly approaching, most homeowners are painfully aware of the preparation work that needs to be done before the cold weather arrives. From painting to weatherproofing to putting in storm windows and organizing the garage, there are plenty of challenging home improvement projects to tackle before winter settles in. But there s no need to panic just yet.
According to Mark Kalinowski, former director of engineering for the Good Housekeeping Institute, There are some simple ways to ensure that winterizing your home doesn t become overwhelming. When you take time to plan and prepare for winter one step at a time, you'll be glad you did. In the long run, it will help protect your property, save you money and make spending time inside during the winter months more enjoyable.
The following are some quick tips from Kalinowski to help get your home in tip-top shape for the colder months:
Fall is one of the most popular times to paint interior rooms since it's still warm enough to leave windows open. Add some color to your home before the cold weather sets in. Also, although it s traditionally associated with spring cleaning, shampoo your carpets. After a long summer of children running in and out of the house, they probably need it.
Clean Up Clutter
No one wants to trip over clutter climbing out of the car in the winter, says Kalinowski. To avoid it, use some of today s best storage tools to help you transform your garage.
Since one of the most dangerous winter hazards is ice-covered walking areas, be sure you have an ample supply of ice-melt chemicals and sand stored away. Have the proper materials to melt ice before it has the chance to build up. Also, check reserves of flashlight batteries, canned goods and bottled water in preparation for a snowy day or severe winter emergency. Invest in a good snow blower and shovel, now rather than later.
Seal unwanted air leaks around windows and doors, which are the primary heat-loss areas in most homes. Caulking and applying weather-stripping is one of the easiest and least expensive options and can save hundreds of dollars on heating bills. Also check the attic and crawl space or basement to ensure the right type and amount of insulation is present.
While you re in the attic, check the condition of your roof. Be proactive and prevent emergency and expensive repairs by looking for common trouble spots and possible leaks from the inside.
Crank Up The Heat
Another important area to review before temperatures plunge is heating, Kalinowski adds. Be sure to look carefully at your heating system including filters, pilot lights and burners. You might also want to have the system serviced by a qualified professional. Also have a professional clean and tune the furnace every other year. And remember, furnace filters should be replaced frequently for cleaner air and energy efficiency.
Avoid the Freeze
Finally, take care of known issues with pipes that freeze. Heat tape can be used to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. Learn how to turn off water at its source so that you can stop leaks immediately if they start. Drain water from outdoor faucets when you think a hard freeze is coming. With a little forethought you can easily tackle these projects and avoid some of the pitfalls of the coming cold weather. Courtesy of ARA Content
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