Painful though it is to admit, winter is on the way. A “transitional” month here in Chicago, November can pack both some nasty surprises (a record low below 10 degrees) and some pleasant ones (a record high above 80).
Whatever the weather, there’s no doubt cold weather looms ahead. So Get Dwell recommends your to-do list this month includes a host of weatherizing items. (And don’t forget, in keeping with our theme this month, many energy-saving projects qualify for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credit.)
Turn off and drain outside hose bib
Remove hoses and splitters from spigot and drain any remaining water in the line. If your spigot has an interior shut off valve, turn it off. If your bib is frost-free, make sure nothing is attached to the spigot and that it’s closed tightly. Broken pipes are a common occurrence this time of year – a 10 minute chore can save you a lot of potential trouble once the thermometer plunges.
Change direction of ceiling fans
Ceiling fans have both “forward” and “reverse” settings. The forward setting, which blows air down toward the ground, cooling you in the process, is for warm weather. Changing to the reverse setting in cold weather circulates the warm air without blowing air down and giving you a chill. Hot air rises and a ceiling fan, running in reverse, gently mixes the air.
Inspect and clean gutters
Leaves, sticks and other debris from blustery fall weather can play havoc with your home’s gutter system. And that can lead to problems during winter’s freeze and thaw cycles. Have them cleaned while weather still permits.
Inspect for animals
This is the time of year many people receive unwanted guests, as animals seek a warm place to hunker down for the winter. Look for signs of entry on the outside of your house and signs of habitation inside.
This is a good time of year to have a weatherization inspection done of key areas like attics, doors and windows and pipes. This is the time to add insulation, seal drafty spots, wrap pipes and make other upgrades that keep the heat in and cold out.
Check your furnace
Change filters, adjust your humidifier and check dampers and registers to be sure your heating system is working at peak efficiency when you need it most.
Change your smoke alarm batteries
The end of Daylight Savings Time is a great time to change out the batteries in your smoke alarm. Putting fresh batteries in all your units provides peace of mind that they’ll remain in good working order through the winter months.
Have a question? Need exterior repairs or maintenance done before the Chicago cold arrives? Call Get Dwell. From small fixes to weatherization assessments, insulation to windows, we can help keep your home safe and snug once winter takes hold.