Winter is coming: 6 tips to prepare | Ally Construction | Wichita Roofing, Remodeling, Maintenance and Restoration
It's starting to get cold out here in the Wichita area. Now is a good time to get prepared for the winter and take care of some routine maintenance tasks on your home before it starts to get frigid outside. Here are 6 things you can take care of before the chill sets in:
Change air filters
If you haven't already you'll be firing up your furnace soon and it's very important that you have a clean air filter installed. Your air filter helps keep the air circulating in your home stay clean and free of particulates. Leaving a dirty air filter in your HVAC system can lead to a lack of efficiency and failure. The longer you keep in an air filter the less effective it becomes. So check your air filter and replace if needed. All systems are different, some use an older 'hammock' style filter so be sure you verify the correct type and size before heading to the store.
Consider a programmable thermostat
If you don't own one already, consider buying a programmable thermostat this winter. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the times you'll be home, away, or asleep and adjust the temperature automatically. This is much more cost affective & comfortable than attempting to manually adjust the thermostat or keeping it at the same temperature. They are generally fairly simple to install if you're comfortable with simple wiring and a screwdriver.
Check smoke and CO2 detector batteries
Now is a good time to change the batteries on your detectors. You do have your home covered with enough smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? You should have a detector on every level of your home and at least every bedroom as well. Also, for any size home, ensure your family has an exit plan in case of any alarm. Determining how to get out of the house quickly, safely, and having a meeting place away from the house can save lives.
Clear off that roof
Take a good look at your roof. If you're comfortable with getting on the roof, get up their and clear off any debris. Leaves, branches, seeds, and other debris can build up in corners and in gutters. Clearing off any debris and ensuring your gutters are clean is important in keeping your roof and the area around it in good shape. Leaves and seeds left rotting in gutters can hold moisture and cause gutters to rust through and wood to rot if the buildup is not cleared.
Check your insulation
Winter is a great time to check your insulation levels. Ensure you have the proper levels of insulation in you basement and your attic. If you have an older house and haven't upgraded or added insulation recently it may be time to add some more. Properly installed insulation can drastically help the energy effiiciency of your home. Blown in insulation in older attics often needs refreshed with a few more inches after years of settling.
Inspect your chimney and fireplace
Before you attempt to use your fireplace this winter make sure everything is still in top shape. Check the draft to ensure smoke will rise out. Inspect to make sure there are no nests from animals, or animals themselves living up there. If you haven't had your chimney cleaned recently (or *gasp* ever), you must schedule a cleaning. Flammable deposits and soot can build up over time and if not removed can catch fire! You want to keep your fire in the fireplace, not the chimney, which could spread the fire to the rest of the house.
We hope you are prepared for the winter, and stay tuned for more tips. If you need a hand with any home maintenance in Wichita KS or the surrounding area, give us a call. We'd be glad to help. Consider us your ally!