As temperatures and leaves fall, the time comes to start thinking about preparing your home for colder weather. Especially on Cape Cod where most houses are built for the summer months, it’s important to be as prepared as possible going into winter. Here are some tips to help you out:
Check the furnace or other heating system
Before temperatures drop too drastically, make sure your heating system is fully functioning and ready to go for when you need it. The last thing you want is a faulty heating system on the morning after the first frost. An HVAC professional can come to your home and check for leaks, heating efficiency, or filters that may need replacing. Once it gets frosty out there, you’ll be glad you got it done in advance.
Prepare the fireplace
If you have a fireplace in your home, chances are it will be well-used throughout the winter season. Before the snow falls, it’s a good idea to have your chimney inspected and cleaned to make sure it’s ready to go when you want to use it. You should also take advantage of the cool fall weather to stock up on firewood and find a place to store it - you don’t want to be dealing with that when the temperatures are below freezing!
Stock Up on Fall and Winter Tools
With every new season comes new yard and home maintenance tools. For fall, some tools to consider getting are a rake, leaf blower, brooms, gardening tools, tarps. These can help with leaf removal and other yard work. For winter, a snow shovel is definitely a necessity. If you want an easier but pricier alternative, you could try getting a snowblower. Having an ice scraper for your car windows and windshields is also a good idea, as well as salt to reduce slips on walkways and driveways.
Check Your Home for Drafts
Cold temperatures mean it is more important than ever to have your home well sealed. Fall is a great time to check for drafts before they become a real problem. To do this, close all windows and doors in your house and light incense or a candle, going around to spots with potential leakage [doing this on a cool, windy day is recommended]. If the smoke/flame is blown away from or sucked toward a potential source of the leak, it is likely there is a leak there. Air leaks can be sealed with caulk and spray foam, or you could call a professional to inspect and repair leaks in your home.
Plant Spring Bulbs in Your Garden
Just because winter is on the way doesn’t mean you can’t get some last minute gardening in. While you won’t see them come up until Spring, fall plants have just enough time to get their roots in the ground before it freezes. At the end of the season, a lot of these bulbs will probably be on sale, so jump on it while you still can. Some of the best Spring-blooming plants include tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and violas. After spending all winter underground, these flowers will give you a colorful surprise come springtime. Also, remember to drain and shut off your garden hoses before they freeze!
If you're thinking about buying or selling a home on the Cape, contact ERA Cape Real Estate today!