October 22, 2021 at 12:20pm | Jennifer Hollister
Colder weather is officially upon us! Fall is the perfect time to start preparing your home for the winter. Here are some great tips to keep your home in tip top shape! 

1. Change your disposable air filter in your HVAC system. Ideally, this should be done every three months, so if you haven’t swapped it out for a new one recently, now is the perfect time! If you have a permanent filter, make sure to clean it regularly.

2. Clean your return vents and make sure they are open. Vents can easily accumulate dust throughout the year. It’s always best practice to make sure they are clean and open. Also remember to change ceiling fans to push the air down to encourage circulation of warmer air. 

3. Give outdoor heat pumps space. Make sure there is plenty of room for air circulation and remove any grass clippings, leaves and other debris. 

4. Check your exhaust fans. Exterior exhaust fans venting from water heaters and furnaces should be checked at least one per year. This will ensure nothing is stuck inside the vents preventing them from exhausting properly. 

5. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. The majority of house fires occur throughout the winter months. Make sure you and your family are protected with properly working fire detectors. 

6. Add insulation to prevent air leaks around foundation doors and windows. Air leaks can wreak havoc on the comfort of your home throughout the winter. Use weatherstripping, air foam and caulk to keep your home airtight and warm. This can also help keep utility bills low. 

7. Disconnect outside hoses. Exterior garden hoses should be disconnected, drained and stored properly to prevent damage to the house and spigot. 

8. Find your water shut off valve. In the event of a broken pipe or water leak, it’s important to be able to quickly find and shut off the main water valve in your home. Make sure you know where it’s located and how to operate it. 

9. If you have a sump pump, make sure to test it to ensure it’s working properly. This can be done by dumping a 5 gallon bucket of water into the sump pump to trigger it to operate. If it doesn’t trigger or operate correctly, make sure to get it repaired. 

10. Use surge protectors on heating devices and decorations. During the winter, more electricity is used for items such as decorative lighting and heaters. Protect your home and your devices by using surge protectors. 

Preparing your home for the winter months can be a quick and easy process. Following these tips will have you well on your way to a safer home for the holidays!
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