With fall underway and winter on the way, it’s not too soon to start preparing your home for cold weather. The following simple, cost effective steps will help to lower your utility bills and protect the investment you’ve made in your home.
- Tune up your heating system. Have a technician inspect your furnace to make sure it is clean, in good condition and running at the highest level of efficiency. Average Cost: $80-$100.
- Reverse your ceiling fan. If your fan can, switch the rotation of your fan blades to clockwise. According to Energy Star this will cause an updraft and push the warm air at the top of the room down. Cost: $0 (may even save money by allowing you to turn down your thermostat.)
- Hit the roof. Look for any signs of damage or areas of potential leaks. Have these repairs made before the cold weather hits. If your roof is flat, blow off excess leaves and pine needles. If necessary, hire a handy man to repair a few shingles or seal a few cracks. Average Cost: $95-$350.
- Clean your gutters. Gutters that are full of debris or water can lead to damage to your roof, siding and may even cause leaks or ice dams. Average Cost: $70-$225.
- Turf off exterior faucets. Disconnect water hoses and drain the remaining water. Undrained water in pipes will freeze, expand and burst. Cost: $0.
Taking these precautionary steps will help keep costs down and prevent damage to your home this fall and winter season. For more tips on fall and winter maintenance for your home, please visit http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T029-S001-12-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter/index.html.