It’s that time; time to start planning for winter. As a summer enthusiast, I do not like the threat of shorter days and sending my colorful wardrobe into hiding. Although far more important than making room for fall boots is prepping our home for that first frost. If you are new to Connecticut (or have lived here your whole life), these tips will be mighty helpful.
Plan ahead for snow plowing & pellets
Sounds silly to buy pellets before its cold, right? Not at all! Many of us have learned the hard way that slow plow companies are booked by August and pellets are on back order by September! Fortunately, with the summer months sneaking their way into fall, there is still time. If you use someone to plow or need to stock up on pellets, don’t wait too long!
Check your roof and trees
Ice has the ability to cause catastrophic damage to a poorly maintained roof, so it is important to have someone check for breaks in the flashing and seals around the vent stacks prior to the first winter storm. Working on a roof is dangerous, so a professional should always be utilized. Additionally, November is the perfect time to have your gutters cleaned. I highly recommend booking someone within the next couple weeks. Once most of the leaves have fallen, that is opportune time to tackle any stray leaves and debris in your gutter to prevent ice dams.
Service your fireplace and furnace
This process will be inexpensive if serviced on a regular basis. It is critical to make sure that your heat pump is clean and that there are no signs of leaking. In addition, you may want to hire a chimney sweep to come out and ensure that the fireplace is in good working condition prior to using it this season. If you have a pellet stove, these are also imperative to have serviced on an annual basis.
Seal your windows and doors
Nobody wants to pay extra for electrical bills in the winter and the best way to avoid higher bills is to prevent heat loss. My advice is to walk around your home on a cold evening and run your hand along the crevices. If you feel a breeze from the outside, fall is the perfect time to purchase caulk or new weather stripping to keep you toasty this season.
Reverse your fans
This one is easy to forget! Since heat naturally rises, fall is the time to switch your fans to rotate at a lower speed in a clockwise direction. This will circulate heat throughout the room.
Shut off exterior faucets
First, disconnect all outdoor hoses from the faucets and store them in a warmer place (i.e. garage or shed). From there it is crucial that your pipes are drained if needed, and the valves (generally located inside the home) are shut off completely once the temperature reaches 32 degrees.
Hope all these tips will help you prepare for winter and that first frost!