Highland Lakes

Country Club and Community Association

Getting Home and Hearth Prepared for Winter

As winter approaches take time to prepare your home. Just as the stitch-in-time saves nine, so too does taking relatively small steps to prepare for winter’s chill eliminate the need for costly and sometimes emergency repairs later on.

Start by calling the chimney sweep. So many in our community heat their homes with wood burning stoves, and many more enjoy regular use of their fireplace. If this is true for you, remember to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned (if necessary) once a year. Burning wood releases volatile gases that cool and condense on the inside of the chimney, forming flammable creosote that can lead to chimney fires. You can prevent this risk with a simple annual cleaning.

Save energy by insulating pipes and attics, and sealing doors, windows and other openings to prevent cold air from making its way indoors.

Make the most of your windows by washing them twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Not only will this improve your view of the beautiful outdoors, but clean windows allow more sunlight in to warm your home on sunny, winter days. Installing storm windows will reduce air leakage too.

Clean gutters enable rain to run through the downspouts and away from your home. Make sure the fall leaves and debris has been removed from your gutters before winter sets in. Dirty gutters during the dead of winter prevent melting snow from escaping and could lead to ice dams on your roof.

Make sure your heating system is in top shape to prevent the need for emergency repairs on a cold winter night. Call an HVAC professional now to check the heating system that you will be depending upon this winter to ensure that belts are in good repair, fuel filters are changed, motor parts are properly lubricated, dust and debris is removed from duct work, and smoke stacks are clear of branches, leaves and nests. Buy enough air filters to see you through the winter months and change them monthly–when filters become clogged with dust, the furnace doesn’t operate efficiently and your energy bill goes up.

 

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