5 Important Things All New England Homeowners Should Do Before Winter
That little resurgence of warm weather in New England as we slid into October was a nice treat, especially since most of us feel that we got robbed of summer this year.
However, don’t let that trick your subconscious. The shorter and much colder days will be here before you know it.
A lot of us are both busy and cautious of spending. With those two things combined, it’s often easy to forget or just ignore proper steps to winterize your home. But neglecting some of these things can often end up costing you even more money, not to mention causing stress.
These are a few of the most important things that all homeowners who experience a good old northern New England winter can do to make sure things are locked and loaded. Some of them won’t even cost you a dime!
1. Check Your Windows
According to the Department of Energy, heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy. Let that one sink in, especially with the current heating costs.
Pretty soon, you will be able to hover your hand over your windows to check for drafts. If it’s a chilly night and you don’t feel that cold hair creeping through the cracks, there’s a good chance your windows are nice and insulated for another winter.
If you do happen to feel that chill, don’t panic, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace all of your windows. Weatherstripping can be a simple and affordable temporary fix until it’s actually time to replace them.
2. Check Your Gutters
Gutters oftentimes fall in the category of out of sight, out of mind. After all, they are located up by the roof. Gutters are put in place for an important purpose: they are responsible for draining the water from your roof. But they can get clogged easily with debris, leaves, and dirt.
Think about the astronomical amount of rainfall we had this year. There’s a good chance you have plant life growing up there, or even a dead animal.
Any and all of these are blockages, and can result in a damaged exterior and even a flooded interior. So, it’s highly recommended that you check them to see if they need to be cleaned.
If you’re Clark Griswold on the ladder, you may want to hire a professional.
3. Drain and Disconnect Your Hose
Disconnect your hose before temperatures begin to get down in the freezing zone. Why? What’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is your hose can freeze. And you might be thinking, "Well, it’s outside." True, but suddenly you can have ice in the spigot, which can lead into the pipes inside your home.
Ignoring this can cause the frozen water to continue to expand until it bursts the actual pipe that leads to the spigot itself, which could be a big problem.
This is an easy one that could save you a lot of stress and a lot of money.
4. Get Your Furnace Checked By a Professional
It’s generally good practice to get your heating system inspected by a professional once a year, and this is typically around the best time to do it. One thing you can do on your own is check the filter to make sure it’s clean.
There are several issues that could need some professional attention that you might not even know about. Your belts connected to the blower could be worn or damaged, or your heating ducts could be blocked. Getting your furnace serviced before it starts working around the clock for you is always a good idea.
5. Move your outdoor furniture indoors
Yes, it is outdoor furniture, but it’s not built to withstand Maine winters.
Let’s be honest here, patio furniture is not cheap. You may get away with it for a few seasons, but it will ultimately deteriorate and shorten its lifespan over time. So, if you want to get continuous summers out of your outdoor furniture and continue to have it functioning properly, store it in a garage, shed, or basement.
If none of those are options, you can get an outdoor furniture cover. They are relatively inexpensive, and will likely pay for themselves.
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Gallery Credit: Aine Givens