HOW DO I GET MY NEW HOUSE READY FOR WINTER? SIMPLE STEPS TO BRACE FOR THE COLD, WHILE IT’S STILL WARM!
How do I get my new house ready for winter? Yes, the summer sun is still shining, but the big box stores already have Halloween and Christmas decorations lining their shelves, which can only mean one thing – colder weather will be here before we know it! Rather than being caught off guard by an early cold snap, and scurrying to compete for booking appointments when the frost has already arrived, we highly recommend staying ahead of the game. Your new house and future self will both thank you. While properly and comfortably settling into your home is paramount, some behind the scenes TLC will help to keep your new home’s systems running smoothly all winter long. If this is your first go around at preparing a home for a big temperature drop, it can understandably seem overwhelming at the outset. What do I need to do? Where do I even start? Take a deep breath and check out the following tips to help you get on the right track. You can have your house prepared in no time and get back to enjoying what is left of the warm weather, with the added bonus of peace of mind that you are all set for the upcoming seasons!
Time To Clean Out The Gutters!
A task that can be easy to forget and/or skip is regularly cleaning out your new home’s gutters. They are above your eye line and out of the way, and typically are not going to cause you any issues unless there is some sort of major blockage or backup. However, you of course are going to want to avoid that and the potential damage it could cause to the rest of your home. This is arguably the easiest and most low maintenance upkeep, and with a few simple items, can be done by you, without having to hire a professional. Do not be fooled or make any assumptions without checking your gutters firsthand. You may not have a lot of foliage on your property, but debris builds up regardless. Say no to short term laziness now, while it is still safe to get up on a ladder without ice making things dangerous, and avoid a massive frozen disaster during the winter. How do I clean my gutters? Grab your ladder, a plastic scoop (when things have congealed and turned into sludge, this will be more effective than using your hands), and make sure your compost bin is nearby for dumping. Once you have removed all of the gunk, run your hose through the gutters to take care of anything the scoop might have missed. Now your gutters and outside draining system is in the clear, the perfect first step to get your new house ready for winter.
Remove The Dust From The Ducts
As our world changes at overwhelming speeds all around us; evolving diets and food consciousness are at the forefront, arguably more than ever before. Sadly, gone are the mindless days when a package of hot dogs at your summer BBQ would suffice. However, this is no reason to become stressed, you also do not need to be Guy Fieri in order to put on an incredible summer BBQ. Interestingly enough, the more you keep things simple, the more likely you are to be able to feed anyone and everyone who comes to your event. Salads with fresh, whole ingredients are classic and timeless. Keep salad dressing choices as a side, and always include a back to basics olive and vinegar option, fresh lemon wedges are great too. Substitute out a regular wheat/gluten pasta for a rice, quinoa or lentil based version and use that as your base for a second cold salad dish. Farm fresh corn is juicy, sweet, and delicious; you can grill it in metal baskets or keep cobs in their husks while firing up the barbecue. It will take slightly more effort and planning, but allowing your guests to individually and safely dress/sauce all of their own food items can insure allergy issues are taken care of, and sanitization is kept under control. One of the most exciting things about planning a BBQ menu in 2020? If you have vegetarians, plant based, or vegan guests attending – the delicious options that will satisfy them and everyone else (yes, even meat eaters) are bountiful and beyond. Fresh cut fruit as dessert is incredible (aka dairy free, gluten free, and literally the most plant based a plant based option can be), and asking guests to BYOB, will also help to ensure all your dietary restriction bases are covered. With that said, do also be sure to provide a non-alcoholic beverage option for your guests; water, lemonade, or ice tea always work.
Freshen Up Your Furnace
When the temperature drops outside, generally the heat gets pumping hotter and higher on the inside. When your vents are opened up, they are spreading warm, but sometimes stale and musty, or even dirty air throughout your home. An easy way to keep things fresh and flowing as safely as possible – is by having the ducts in your new home cleaned. You can switch out filters on your own, and should regularly, but actually getting in there to remove dust and build up will take a professional. This is a very common service and it will only take a quick internet search to find providers in your area. Pro tip, set a little bit of time aside to read through customer reviews of the companies and businesses you are looking to hire. Great marketing and a beautiful website are awesome, but actual customers will keep it real, help give insight into who will be performing this service for you, and what you should expect. Clean ducts and clean air are an awesome way to prepare your home for the winter.
Winterize Your Water Tank System
The bigger systems that keep your home up and running are an ongoing investment. And like everything else in life, the more you put in, the more you will get out. Typically, a standard furnace will have a thriving lifespan of ten years, but showing this expensive and vital equipment consistent love will never steer you wrong! Now with this particular piece, a professional is not always necessary for upkeep. If you are feeling ready to become a bonafide homeowner and operator, there are ways for you to positively contribute to the maintenance of your furnace. Something to note here however is the state of the furnace upon moving into your new home. Review what your home inspector has to say and ask a lot of questions about where they think your unit is at in terms of healthy function. If it is in great working condition, fantastic. This should mean that regular maintenance on your end will suffice. If you are walking into an already questionable situation, or are working with a machine that is over ten years old and has not been routinely cleaned or properly taken care of, it might be more wise to call in the help of a professional. Book now. These types of service providers will become extremely busy throughout colder seasons, think comparatively to leaving your seasonal car tires being changed until the very last minute. Even better? Because summer months can be slower for this industry, many companies will offer promotions or bundle deals to have work done during this time. Take advantage of the warm weather and hot deals, while ensuring your new home is good to go for the winter.
You Cannot Go Wrong With Clean Carpets
Picture this: you have just walked in the door of your beautiful new home, after as long of a winter run you could handle. It was freezing and windy and you are ready for a hot and steamy shower and some seriously earned relaxing, cozy time. You hop in the shower and… only cold water comes out. You wait and wait but reality hits hard. Something is up with your hot water tank! This can be a day ruiner when it is above 20 degrees outside, let alone in the middle of a stone cold winter. And this is actually the better of some other scenarios, ie. basement flood, pipe bursting, etc. Avoid all of this headache, heartache, and drama by taking care of your water tank system today. Similar to your furnace, your water heating equipment should have been thoroughly checked by whomever inspected your home. On top of this, you can always seek out from your landlords or previous home owners, what the ongoing maintenance of this system looked like. If it has not been checked or cleaned in years, that is a sign to get it done as soon as possible. If you are feeling confident in your handyman abilities, there are YouTube videos galore on how to test your pressure valve, drain sediment, and monitor the efficiency of your element. Small efforts now, in anticipation of having your home ready for winter, can mean extending the life of an expensive system to fix and/or replace.