Angie's List: Prepping for winter weather

Fall is upon us and it is the perfect time to check that your home is ready for the winter months. Four areas need to be on your priority list to keep your home in tip-top shape, and help save on energy costs too.

Angie Hicks of Angie’s List says, "The transition from summer to fall is a great time to get your house ready for winter. Check that your house is energy efficient and be sure that everything is good condition to weather the storm."

The first step is to start with your roof. According to Jim Keffer, a roofing contractor, "If you have a roof problem it's going to obviously let water into your house eventually, which can damage the underside of the roof deck itself that's what the shingles are nailed to as well as drip down and get into the interior drywall of the house the structure itself."

A roof inspection can help identify potential signs that could lead to major problems - some roofing companies don't charge for this service. Replace any cracked or damaged shingles or roofing pieces.

Next step, according to Keffer is to clean your gutters. "The primary problem if you don't clean out your gutters is that the down spouts will clog; leaves and debris will get into the gutters. They will work their way over to the downspouts and keep that from draining out of the gutters, which will cause the gutters themselves to overflow causing excess moisture around the perimeter of the house."

Taking care of your house’s furnace is also important. Remember to check your furnace filters each month and replace them when necessary. A clean filter distributes heat better and cuts down on energy costs.

According to Angie, “What we hear from heating and cooling contractors is that the most common reason for emergency calls is because the furnace wasn't properly maintained. Investing in a checkup this fall costs anywhere from $60 to $100 and is money well spent."

And finally, caulk, seal and weather-strip doors and windows where drafts are detected, it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save on heating costs.

"On the inside of your house, walk around and check windows and doors. And easy way to do that is to take a candle and if the flame flickers near the window you'll need to provide some extra sealant on those windows,” says Angie.

Sealing around doors and windows is a great way to also keep out unwanted pests, like mice.


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