Simple ways to save over Winter …

With winter just around the corner, now is a great time to make sure your house is ready for the colder weather and is warm and toasty inside when the temperature dips outside.

Being proactive about getting your home ready for the cold will help lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency of your home, and make your property safer.

We’ve put together a checklist for you to help:

Windows and Doors
Check all the weather-stripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace if necessary.

 

Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity.

 

Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping. 
Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.

 

  Lawn, Garden, and Deck
Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing damage. 
Aerate the lawn, reseed, and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep-root growth come spring. 
Ensure rain drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary.

 

Clean and cover patio furniture with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.

 

Dig up flower bulbs, brush off soil, and label. Store bulbs in a bag or box with peat moss in a cool, dry place for spring replanting.

 

Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.

 

Inspect decks for splintering, decay or insect damage and treat, if necessary, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.

 

Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.

 

Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured. 
  Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
If you use a wood heater, inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard. 
Check fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted. Consider installing a Chimney Balloon into the flue to air seal the area tightly. 
Check that smoke alarms are in working order.

 

Cover window air conditioners with insulated liners to prevent drafts.

 

Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order. 
Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.

 

  Gutters, Roof, and Drains
Check for missing, damaged or warped tiles and replace, as necessary to avoid leaks. 
Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun. 
Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of rain and ice can pull gutters off the house. 
Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage. 
Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages. 
Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

 

 

Done?                         Congratulations!  You’re officially ready for winter.

 

Find out more about keeping your family and house safe this winter from NSW Fire Brigades at http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=956

 

This article is for informational purposes only. go go Conveyancing will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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