Preparing Your Home for the Cold in the Fall

In a climate like Boston's, it’s essential to prepare your home for the approaching cold winter season in order to protect it against serious damage, especially if you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale during the coldest part of the year. However, if you wait until the last minute, you could be caught off guard by an early winter storm or you may find yourself carrying out these tasks in the bitter cold. Rather than putting off these important steps, take the time to prepare your home in the fall when the weather is still nice and while you have plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming season. Take a look at the following essential steps for winterizing your homes.

Check Your Heating System
The last thing a homeowner wants to discover is that his heating system isn’t working after a cold snap occurs, especially if that homebuyer has opened his home to potential buyers. During the fall months, take the time to test your heating system to ensure that it’s working properly. You should also change your heating filter every year if you have a forced air heating system.

Homeowners should check their furnaces, boilers and ductwork and consider doing maintenance to these home features. Scheduling a furnace tune-up can prevent malfunctions from occurring during the winter.

Clean Your Gutters
It may not seem like a big deal to have fall leaves in your gutters, but if you leave them there until winter, you could face a serious issue. Clogged gutters can cause standing water to accumulate, which can create major home damage when the water freezes and can no longer be easily cleared out. A significant amount of ice in your gutters can become backed up and push against roof shingles and cause a leaky roof.

Clear out your gutters regularly during the fall months and remove all leaves and any other buildup. It may not be the most exciting chore, but this step can prevent costly roof damage later down the road.

Trim Your Trees
Many homeowners forget that their trees pose a threat to their homes during the colder months. Check to see if you have any tree branches hanging close to your home, especially near your roof. During the winter, these branches can break after becoming heavy with snow and ice, causing damage your windows, roof, or the cars in your driveway. Instead of leaving it to chance, take the time to trim and eliminate any branches that are too close to these areas.

Make Sure Your Windows are Insulated
A drafty house in a cold climate can be enough to make a homeowner want to turn away any interested homebuyer or to make a current homeowner want to move out. Faulty windows often allow cold air to get inside your home, so you can prepare for the winter by sealing up these drafty spots. If your windows are very old, it may be time to replace them with newer, Energy Star approved windows that keep more air out. You can also try caulking the space around your windows to eliminate any gaps.

Whether you plan on staying in your home for a while or you want to try to sell your home in the coming months, it’s important to winterize your house to prevent damage and maintain a certain level of comfort. Taking care of your home in the fall puts you well ahead of the game for the winter season and gives you peace of mind.

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