#1 Remove Garden Hoses from Faucets
Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and if freezing temps hit, that water could freeze & crack your pipes. If you have any water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets, it’s extremely important to shutoff those valves too!
#2 Winterize Your Irrigation System
Draining your sprinkler system can prevent serious damage. Buried irrigation lines with water in them can freeze, leading to busted pipes. It’s important to hire a professional sprinkler company to come out and blowout those pipes in order to remove any excess water. Pro’s typically charge $75-$150 for the service but it’s worth the money to prevent broken pipes and sprinkler heads.
#3 Clean Your Gutters
After all the leaves have fallen, remove leaves, twigs and unclog your gutters. Expensive repairs can ensue if clogged gutters aren’t cleared trapping water. Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways. Tightening gutters & downspout brackets is always a good idea too!
#4 Check Your Furnace(s)
Change your furnace filters before the cold months hit. Honestly, this should really be done every two months anway. If your furnace has a built-in humidifier, make sure to replace that filter too. It’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with an HVAC pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. You’ll pay $75 to $150 for a checkup but it’s worth it to prevent a furnace failure in the middle of a freezing winter!
#5 Prune Plants
Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth. It’s also wise to trim any tree limbs that hang over your roof or those that are too dangerously close to power lines. Heavy snow, high winds and ice can cause damage in the winter.
#6 Make sure your Fireplace is safe
Grab a flashlight & open the damper in order to look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches, leaves, and any other obstructions. You also want to test the damper to make sure it opens & closes properly.
Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, have a professional fireplace/chimney inspection. An inspection costs $150 to $300.
Every couple of years, it’s important to hire a professional chimney sweep to remove creosote buildup from your fireplace flue. A buildup of creosote can cause unwanted & dangerous fires in your fireplace!
#7 Reverse Ceiling Fans
In order to push hot air downwards, you should switch your ceiling fan blades to run counterclockwise. Running the blades in a clock position during the warmer months keeps rooms cool, while running the blades counterclockwise during the colder months keeps rooms warmer.
Written by Best Real Estate Agent Vittoria Logli in Glenview, IL