As these last few storms have blown through, I’ve noticed our air getting cooler and I’m quickly reminded that fall is right around the corner. While I express similar sentiments for each season, fall truly captivates me. Here in Morgantown, we’re treated to the complete fall experience: the transformation of the leaves, the excitement of football games, and the crispness of the weather. This season seems to bring forth a sense of tranquility, devoid of the usual stressors. While you enjoy the season, consider giving your home some seasonal TLC, by preparing it for the cold winter months.
Start with your gutters and the exterior. Inspect for loose or damaged siding, roof shingles, and gutters. Clear out the leaves and debris from the gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs and water damage. Check for tree branches that are close to your home and trim them back enough to prevent damage during winter storms. You also may want to trim and protect your garden plants by adding a layer of mulch and covering delicate plants.
How’s your heating system? A properly functioning heating system is a cornerstone of a cozy winter home. Schedule a professional HVAC inspection to ensure that your furnace or heat pump is in optimal condition. Clean or replace filters, check for leaks, and make any necessary repairs. You may even want to consider investing in a programmable thermostat to regulate indoor temperatures efficiently and reduce energy consumption.
Be sure to seal any air leaks and insulate. Drafts and heat leaks can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, heat loss through windows is responsible for 25 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Conduct a thorough inspection of windows, doors, and other potential openings and seal gaps and cracks using weatherstripping or caulking. Adequate insulation in the attic, walls, and basement can make a substantial difference in retaining warmth and reducing heating costs.
You will want to prevent frozen pipes by draining and disconnecting outdoor hoses and shutting off exterior faucets. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Keep note of the location of your water shut-off valve in case of emergencies. This will help you avoid major costly repairs and water damage.
In conclusion, preparing your home for the winter months is not only a practical necessity but also an opportunity to create a cozy and secure haven for you and your loved ones. By taking proactive steps such as cleaning your gutters, inspecting your heating system, sealing leaks, and winterizing your outdoor water lines, you can ensure a comfortable and efficient living environment while minimizing potential risks. Embracing these preparations not only safeguards your home from the harsh elements but also fosters a sense of well-being and peace of mind as you navigate through the colder season. So, as the colder months approach, embrace it with a well-prepared and resilient home that stands as a testament to your foresight and care. Happy Sunday, everyone. Until next week!
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President