Do These 10 Things Now, While It’s Warm, To Stay Cozy This Fall
We may be experiencing 80 and 90-degree days right now, but we all know just how quickly weather in Maine can change. And as just as a lot of folks in the state are starting to gear up for the back-to-school season, it's probably also a good idea to start thinking about the heating season, as well.
Why not get a jump on preparations for colder weather, just in case? You never know what's around the bend these days and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
No one wants to mess around with winter in Maine.
So, here's a list of 10 things you should probably start thinking about taking care of before the leaves start to change color!
And some of them are pretty simple...
1.) Check and clean your gutters.
With the wind and the rain we've seen this summer, there's likely some gunk in your gutters. Put in an afternoon of cleaning those suckers out, and it could prevent ice build-ups and possible leaks when the weather starts to freeze.
2.) Clean and check your windows.
Cleaning your windows now, while it's still warm during the day and it won't bother anyone to have them open for a little bit, will give you a good jump on letting a little more light into your home during the winter months. Letting the sun do some of the work when it's cold is never a bad idea. If your windows are clean, they'll let more light in....so spend a day doing that chore now, and reap the benefits later. And while you're cleaning them, check for spots where the seals may have worn down. If you can fix a drafty window now, it will help keep you warm in the long run this winter.
3.) Check your thermostat and see if the furnace comes on.
If you're like me, you probably haven't had to change the setting on your thermostat in at least a couple of months. Better to make sure it's still working and connected as it should be. A summer set to 50 isn't that bad. But when it's below freezing outside, you're going to want that dial to move smoothly, and do its job!
4.) Have your furnace serviced and cleaned before the winter heating season.
The technicians that do this type of work tend to get really busy, really quickly during the winter months, so an ounce of prevention before it gets too cold could really save your rear-end in the long run.
5.) And while you're thinking about the heat while oil prices are falling, even if it is slower than we all had hoped they would, it might be a good idea to fill the oil or propane tank or stock up on firewood now.
6.) Get your chimney cleaned, and prep your wood stove and fireplace.
If you have either in your home, chances are you may have lit that last fire of the season in February, and walked away from it, forgetting that there's a bunch of ash and soot waiting for you now. Don't let that be what you find when you open that puppy back up for this season. Tackle it now. And when that's clean, call a pro to take a quick peak down your chimney to make sure there's been no damage these past few months. It would suck to light the first cozy fire of the year, only to find out you just torched a family of squirrels in the process.
7.) Find and prep your cold weather gear!
No one likes to look for stuff they need in the cold, so before the snow flies is a great time to pull out those hats, mittens, and winter wear and give them a good wash before you'll need to be wearing them on a daily basis.
8.) Locate things like shovels and ice melt, and move them to a more accessible spot.
Save yourself the headache of being caught off-guard by a moody Mother Nature.
9.) Get your snowblower tuned up.
You may not need to use it right away, but you'll rest easier knowing it's there and ready to go when you do need it.
10.) Check your house for leaks, and then fix them.
It's not just windows that can cause you to lose heat in the winter months. Getting an energy audit done now can give you an idea of where you might need to plug some holes with insulation or foam. That will save you some money and the hassle of feeling chilly when those temperatures drop. It could also help you keep the house cooler in these last throes of summer.
There are plenty of resources out there that can give you an idea of where to investigate for drafts and such, and plenty of companies locally who specialize in this stuff.
There are some good tips and resources here, too.