Time to get your home ready for colder weather

Is your home ready for winter?
Posted at 10:36 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 22:36:08-04
As daylight dwindles and the mercury drops, one of the first things to do to prepare for the seasonal change is to check your insulation. If you can see the wood beams in your attic, it's time to add more.
Another key to keeping cold out, according to Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, is finding out how it's getting in.  
"The first sign of cold is a great time to check the seals around your windows and doors," she said. "An easy, do-it-yourself way to do that is to take a candle around in front of the windows lit and if it flickers, then you probably have a draft that needs attention."
Caulking cracks is an easy task, Professional handyman David Price said, you just have to have the right tools.
"Don't go cheap on a caulk gun because then you'll have a caulk gun that stays triggered and then it continues to spread the caulk, so don't get any real cheap caulk gun," Price said. "Get one that works really well." 
This is also when you need to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. Get your chimney checked and swept; service your furnace and change the filter; and Hicks said show some love to your water heater.  
"Many homeowners don't think about their water heater until it goes out and they get a cold shower, but there is some simple maintenance you can do that can really increase the efficiency of your water heater," she said. "Simply by draining the water heater once a year, you can increase its efficiency by 50 percent."
And don't forget about all the equipment you've been using all summer, Chris Arvin, a lawn maintenance pro said take care of your lawnmower, before you store it away.  
"Fuel is the biggest issue on storage of the mower over the winter time," Arvin said. "Either run it out of fuel and store it completely empty or stabilize the fuel and store it full." 
If you decide to use a fuel stabilizer, Hicks suggested mixing it in the gas can first and then pouring it in the mower to make sure you use the right amount. If you have a riding mower, she recommends removing and storing the battery until springtime. And one final tip: get a roof inspection. Finding and repairing minor damage now could save you big bucks after a long, harsh winter.

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