It may be Texas, but it’s still a smart idea to prepare your home for winter. Those who suffered through the hailstorm this last spring don’t need any reminders that sometimes the weather here can be unpredictable.
GUTTERS: If you have gutters and downspouts you’ll want to make sure they’re cleared of debris. If they get clogged it can cause problems when it rains.
SPRINKLER SYSTEM: Don’t forget to set your sprinkler timer to the rain or off mode for the season. It should retain your settings. However, do not unplug the timer or you will lose your programming.
FIREPLACE: If you’re like most homes in South Texas, you don’t use your fireplace very often. Before using it, make sure to check that the chimney is clear of soot or creosote buildup and no little critters have set up house.
HEATER: Time to test the heater, particularly since it hasn’t been run for 6 months. Turn the thermostat to heat mode and set at 80 degrees. The furnace should turn on and warm air should start blowing pretty quickly. Of course you probably know the drill, but it’s best to check it before you really need it. The only thing worse than no heater is no air conditioning! In truth, depending on how old your house is, it couldn’t hurt to have a professional check the system.
FILTER: Replace that dirty furnace filter. Yup, it’s that easy. Oh, and don’t forget about your humidifier’s filter. Nobody wants dry, papery skin in the winter. Make sure your humidifier’s running at peak potential by cleaning the plates or pads.
STAY WARM: Check for gaps and cracks around the window sills and doors. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save on your energy bill just by doing some basic weather-stripping and caulking.
FAUCETS: Don’t forget the outdoor faucets or you could be in for a wild night. Make sure to close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets. Next, open the outside faucet to drain the line. There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to assist the draining. If you don’t have shut-off valves, and the faucets are not freeze-proof, think about getting styrofoam faucet covers, which can be found at your neighborhood Home Depot or the like.
INSPECT DETECTORS: While you’re on a role, this is a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they’re working properly. Similarly, fire extinguishers should be checked, and if you don’t have one add it to the shopping list!
Once your current home is in tip-top shape, start planning for your future one! You can call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a free consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.