It’s officially fall, and you’re probably busy carving pumpkins, enjoying bonfires and making memories with friends and family. But there’s one thing you must not skip on your fall to-do list: protecting the largest investment in your life—your home.
If you live in a part of the country that ‘Old Man Winter’ loves to visit, taking time to prepare your home for the harsh weather that’s just around the corner will pay off big time. You’ll save yourself the hassle of last-minute emergencies (because no one wants to come home to broken pipes!) and you’ll create an energy-efficient home that saves you money every single day.
We’ve compiled a short list of ways you can prep your home for winter success:
• Maintain your gutters and downspouts - After the last of the leaves have fallen from the trees, clean accumulated leaves and branches out of the gutters and ensure your downspouts point away from the foundation of your home. This will allow melted snow to drain properly.
• Cut back overhanging foliage - If branches are currently hanging over your roof, they’re poised to do damage during a storm. Trim any branches that hang over your house, as well as those that are rubbing against your roof and gutters. Snow buildup on branches becomes heavy and the branch could fall on your roof - a costly and avoidable winter emergency.
• Seal doors and windows - A few small drafts coming from gaps around doors and window frames can add up to a larger than necessary heating bill. By making sure your home is properly sealed, you’ll make it easier for your heater to regulate your home’s temperature and can save up to 10% on your energy bill each month.
• Maximize energy savings - Check with your electric supplier to find out about energy efficiency programs they offer. Many provide no-cost or low-cost energy audits, and some provide rebates and incentives for making energy-efficient changes to your home. You can also install a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat that will save money by customizing your heating schedule to meet your family’s needs. Smart thermostats can learn your preferences and can lower and raise the temperature when you are home or away, simplifying your life while saving you money.
• Insulate exposed pipes - Water supply pipes in unheated spaces and those near exterior walls can freeze, burst and subsequently flood your home during a cold spell. We highly recommend tackling this inexpensive project this fall if your home’s exposed pipes are not currently insulated. Pipe insulation costs very little and is simple to install. Check out YouTube for educational videos that explain the process. Bonus: Insulating your pipes can also help you save money on energy costs!
• Enlist a professional - Assess your level of DIY-ability and call in the pros for any tasks that you aren’t comfortable with, such as inspecting and cleaning the chimney or a fall furnace tune-up. You’ll have peace of mind that your home is ready for the winter weather and you’ll check another item off your homeowner maintenance checklist.
Taking time away from your fall festivities to winterize your home will protect your investment, save you money and provide a safe and comfortable place to escape the cold this winter. For all your purchase and refinance questions, we're here to help! Call us at 508-986-6100, or email us at email@example.com. You can apply for a mortgage with us here.