It’s that time of year again, fall means the leaves are starting to fall and you don’t need the air conditioning anymore. Now is the perfect time to prepare for the coming winter months. There are a number of great home renovation projects that are perfect for this time of year. These projects will help you be more comfortable this winter and make your home more energy efficient at the same time.
Windows – Repair or Replacement
The windows and doors in our home perform many essential functions and keeping them working properly is important. The fall is a great time to inspect all of your windows and if needed, repair or replace them. There are many elements to good window construction and you can find all those details here: Replacement Window Buying Guide
Exterior Doors – Upgrade Your Homes Look and Energy Efficiency
The exterior door of your home provides a lot more than just a way to get in and out of the house! The look of the front entrance to your home says a lot. By updating your front door, you not only improve the overall appearance of your home but its value too. Find lots more information on how to update and upgrade your homes entrance here: Welcome to my home - Your new front door!
If you decide to replace your front door you can find many choices available at your local home improvement centers. These are ready to go units that you can take home and get started on a very rewarding home improvement project. You can learn all about how easy it is to do on your own in our article: Replacing the front door of your home - A how to guide
If you decide to hire a professional to do this work for you, then you can find them easily using a site like Smart Reno
Weather-stripping repair and replacement
Maybe door and window replacement is not in the budget this year or they only need a little tune up. Just like your car or truck all of the moving parts in your home need regular maintenance too. You can start with inspecting the weather-stripping on the frames of your windows and doors. There are many types and sizes available from your hardware store. By repairing or improving the weather stripping you will insure a nice tight seal and add savings to your heating cost this winter.
Window and Door Caulking
Another element to look at when you are inspecting windows and doors is the caulking around the exterior frames. When caulking gets dry and old and splits or pulls away front the doors and window frames it allows air leakage. So cold air gets in, and warn air escapes costing you extra dollars in heating costs.
A small project like this is within reach of the average DIY handy-person and for a small investment it will pay big dividends.
For some very helpful hints on this project, check out: HGTV - cost effective window solutions
Heating System - Maintenance Checkup
Depending on where you live, your heating system may be as simple as some auxiliary electrical heaters. Perhaps its forced air, electric baseboard or a wood stove, regardless of the type they all need routine maintenance. Now is the best time to perform a regular checkup so that you are ready. When it is time you want avoid an emergency call for repairs when you need heat.
Even the simplest, electric baseboard heaters need a checkup. First, start by taking out your vacuum cleaner, attached the crevice tool. Some baseboard heaters have a face plate that can be taken off with a quick snap. If not, you can still vacuum the heating fins to remove any dust that may have built up over the summer months. After your cleaning, turn the heat up several degrees over the current temperature to insure they are working properly.
Force Air Heating
In the case of forced air furnaces, you will need to replace the air filter. This should be done at least twice per year at the beginning of the winter and summer seasons. This essential home maintenance project can be done quickly and easily on most units. The air filter is usually located near the base of the furnace where the air circulation fan is attached. The manufactures provide a manual for this but if its lots of missing you can always find it online.
Wood Burning Heaters
A wood burning appliance requires a bit more attention than most heating systems. The chimney in the first point to start on this. If it’s a wood stove, there will be a clean out at the base of the chimney system either inside or out. This should be opened to inspect the interior for any buildup of creosote. If it requires cleaning you can do it yourself with the appropriate sized brush or call your local sweep. This process applies to built in fireplaces that we very common in many areas in past years.
Gas Fireplaces and Heaters
A more modern take on the fireplace are gas burning appliances. These are relatively easy to care for and like, electric baseboards, they just require a vacuum to remove any dust before you ignite the pilot light again this year. If may also require a quick cleaning of the glass on the face of the appliance. Follow your manufactures recommendations on the cleaner to use and the process to remove the panels. You should also to a quick check of the exterior vent to insure its clear of birds’ nests, leaves or any other impediments.
General Clean Up – gutters, foundations, trees hedges, garden mulching
Before fall is over and the really cold weather arrives, it’s a good idea to get one last clean up around the exterior of you home. Insure gutters are clear and you down spouts and water run off areas are clear. This will prevent ice dams on the roof as well as unnecessary accumulation of water around the foundation.
Fall is a great time to perform a little maintenance on your trees and hedges. Make sure there are no dangerous overhanging branches that might be problems during winter storms. You will also want to make sure the hedges and shrubs are trimmed or maybe warped. This will prevent any damage to the plants and make it easier for clearing snow from driveways and walkways.
Prepare your home for winter
Some simple DIY projects now while will the weather is nice will save you worry and money latter. Maybe it’s a complete window and door replacement, or perhaps just some routine maintenance. We hope you found some useful suggestions and instructions on how to approach this winter well prepared.