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Autumn Chores Can Save Money in Winter
Summer is really over, and that means that, in much of the country, cold and snow are around the corner. That makes this a good time to get your house ready for winter, so that you avoid unexpected expenses and inconveniences. The Better Homes and Gardens blog lists several projects you might want to consider before the snow flies:
Lawn care. Make sure that all the leaves are removed from your lawn, aerate the grass, and apply fall fertilizer. You also should fertilize your trees and shrubs, and protect plants against winter’s cold by mulching or even covering them if necessary.
Check your windows. Check for leaks and drafts around windows and doors. You might be able to get rid of the leaks by replacing caulking, or you might need new windows or doors. If the leaks are bad enough, the money you will save on heat if you fix them could be significant.
Check your roof. Fall is an ideal time to check your roof – or have a professional do it. You can avoid the heat of summer and be ready for the snow and ice to come. Check to make sure your roof is not prone to forming ice dams, which can cause severe leaks. If it is, take steps to avoid the damming.
Service your furnace. Having a professional service your furnace in fall can help you avoid losing your heat in the dead of winter. Make any necessary repairs, and change your furnace filters as needed; that will help your furnace run more efficiently – and less expensively.
Check and clean gutters. If your gutters are full of debris or are not attached properly, they won’t drain the water away from your house. And that could lead to water in your basement or ice dams on your roof.
Check your fireplace. In preparation for some hot chocolate – or mulled wine – by a blazing fire, have a professional check your firebox and chimney for cracks or other problems. Otherwise, it could be your house that is blazing.
Install a programmable thermostat. This is one of the easiest things you can do to cut down on your heating costs. Just program the thermostat to keep the house cooler when you are at work or in bed under the covers, and set it to warm things up a bit before you come home or get up.
Get ready for snow. Before the first big winter storm, make sure you have tuned up your snow blower, located your snow shovel and laid in some sidewalk salt. Also check to be sure there are ice scrapers and snow brushes in your cars.