As of last week, autumn is officially upon us. This means it’s now time for a few maintenance rituals to secure our homes for the upcoming cold. When it comes to protecting your property, tackling these easy chores now will save you time and money later this winter
1. Unclutter Your Gutters
For Wisconsin homeowners, cleaning your gutters and downspouts is an important task you’ll want to finish before the weather turns cold. Leaves, twigs and residue easily clog gutters and if not removed can cause ice dams later in winter. For safety tips on cleaning your gutters, check here.
2. Trim Trees and Clear Dead Branches
Wisconsin’s snow, ice and wind can be hard on trees. When winter-laden branches fall on your house, they become damaging and expensive. Clear out any limbs that overhang your buildings and any dead branches that could be blown from the trees.
3. Check Your Furnace
Before firing up your furnace for that first chilly day, be sure to give it an overall clean. Clear the air vents and ducts of dust. Change the filter in both the furnace and the built-in humidifier, if it has one. Be sure to also clean the area surrounding your furnace; the floor of debris and cobwebs from the ceiling. This is especially important if your furnace is a wood-burning unit. And finally, to insure your furnace’s most efficient performance, have it tuned regularly by a professional technician.
4. Sweep that Chimney
A wood fireplace or wood-burning furnace are agreeably warm pleasures of winter. Unfortunately, they are also synonymous with chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Before you light that first fire, check that all chimneys and flues are free of debris and in good working order. Professionals advise that wood-burning chimneys be cleaned four times a year. They also suggest that gas, oil and coal burning chimneys be cleaned once a year.
5. Prepare Plumbing
One never knows when to expect that first frost here in Wisconsin so now is a good time to drain and put away garden hoses, and drain outdoor faucets and in-ground sprinklers. Check indoor plumbing for leaks. Identify indoor pipes that commonly freeze and be prepared to wrap those during the extreme cold.
Any questions on how to prepare your home for winter? Call Forward Mutual at 920-161-6616 or contact us here.