With winter right around the corner, there are a few things we should do to keep our homes running at peak efficiency. The best time to implement these is before you need them! Here’s a quick checklist to get you started.
Turn off spigots and drain irrigation systems – No one wants frozen pipes.
Mulch leaves while mowing – MSU studies have shown homeowners can see an almost 100% reduction in dandelions and crabgrass after mulching fall leaves after just three years! (http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/smart_gardeners_mulch_fallen_leaves_into_lawn_to_save_money) It’s also faster than raking and bagging.
Remove screens – Did you know screens can block up to 30% of the sunlight coming in your house? This is great during the summer when temperatures are high, but in the winter, specifically south and east facing windows can benefit from the extra solar heating. Screens can also collect snow and ice, resulting in damage to the screen and window casing.
Clean gutters – When the gutters are full of debris they can’t effectively move water away from your roof, which can lead to ice buildup.
Have your furnace checked – It worked last year, why should I get it checked now? This is one of those things you want checked before you wake up and its 57° in your house and you are the 200th person in line when you call the heating company. Local, trusted NMS Mechanical (http://nmsmechanical.com/) always says “Hate to call us, but love to see us!”
Get your fireplace cleaned and inspected – Make sure all components of your fireplace are in proper working order, and clean out dust, dirt, soot and pet hair so you can enjoy your cozy fireplace all winter long.
Reverse ceiling fans – Reversing ceiling fans to be going in the clockwise direction pushes warm air down by creating an updraft.
Test the sump pump – You can do this by slowly pouring a few gallons of water into your sump basket. The pump should turn on and start pumping the water out.
Stock up on salt and ice melt