Fall is officially in full force! Nothing reminds me of that more than driving through my beloved Midtown neighborhood with my car windows cracked, breathing the crisp air and seeing all the trees changing colors. I am also reminded of it as I rake or mulch all the leaves surrounding my home. We all love this season, but there is no doubt that winter is creeping up on us. Here are 5 ways to prepare your home now that will save you money through a long, harsh winter.
Check all the weather stripping around your doorways, and caulk around your windows. If you run your hand along the edges of a door facing outdoors and can feel cool air, then you need to change your weather stripping. Pick up an installation kit at a hardware store, and save money on your energy bill! Also check for gaps between the siding and your windows. If the gap is larger than a nickel then you will need to apply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use.
Clean your air vents and any baseboard heaters. Even during mild winters we will find our heaters running for much of the day. Prevent any air blockage by cleaning the dust out of the vents. For air vents make sure you remove the grate, and clean both sides throughly. Most baseboard heaters have a front you can remove and gently clean off. Also make sure you replace your actual furnace filter.
Drain and put away all hoses. This includes not only your garden hose, but air conditioning pipes as well. Store your garden hose in a cool, dry place. Also turn off all outdoor faucets.
Have your gutters cleaned out. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the many beautiful, established neighborhoods in KC with big, beautiful trees your gutters are absolutely going to need a good cleaning. If the gutter is full, water can back up and cause damage to roofing and siding. Having your gutters cleaned will run you between $70-$250 depending on the size and number of stories.
Test your fire alarm. House fires increase during the winter so please make sure your alarm is ready and will function fully should there be the unfortunate event of a fire in your home.
Now that you have your home prepared for winter you can curl up with a good fire and some hot chocolate and enjoy the season!