Fall Cleaning is the New Black
Making sure you have everything cleaned and prepared for winter is one of the best ways to start your new winter in your first home. This includes painting anything that needs to be touched up (like the baseboards by the front door), as well as steam cleaning and replacing any dingy carpets. It’s best to do this early in the fall while the weather is still nice enough to have the windows open - it makes it much easier to vent any fumes.
You will also want to check the air flow and vents in your home to make sure there are no issues or built-up dust. This includes your HVAC, vents, room fans, dryer vents, and baseboard heaters - clean them all so you won’t have to get in there during the winter. Also, you will want to make sure your HVAC unit is professionally and thoroughly inspected; find a well-reviewed service, as any issues with the unit can and will be extremely costly to fix. Make sure to switch out your air filters as well - find the right size for your unit, and do your research on what kind of filter would be best for your home and family.
Cleaning your windows is also a fantastic way to maximize the heat that your home receives through sunlight and the outdoor temperatures while you still can. Use a moistened microfibre cloth indoors, and a vinegar and water solution on the exteriors. You will also want to make sure your screens are in good condition, and replace them if need be. This will save you time and effort when you want to open up the windows in the spring for the beautiful warm weather.
Finally, don’t forget about your gutters! Any debris in there will just make the cold weather even worse on your gutters, and could cause costly repairs come spring time. Remove twigs, leaves, and any other offending materials, and end the process by using a garden hose to test that there are no blockages to your draining.
Preventing Costly Fixes
As important as it is to ensure your home is clean and prepared for winter, it is also a top priority to make sure that your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and pipes are prepared for anything that could happen as well. If you have a wood burning fireplace, clean out your chimney before the daily desires for a fire come up. The more often you light a fire, the more likely you are to accrue debris in the chimney that could easily start a house fire that you wouldn’t even be aware of until it is too late. Make sure to get a professional to look over your fireplace if it is your first time, and do your research to find a dependable one so that your home and family are their safest, and warmest, during the winter.
Hand-in-hand with fireplaces is checking that smoke detectors are ready for whatever the year might bring. Now is a great time to make sure you change any batteries that need to be switched out, and test all of your detectors, particularly the ones in the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, you should also check these for functionality as well. Make sure to get a CO detector testing kit from wherever you purchased your detector, and check all of them out.
Finally, make sure you insulate any pipes that are in unheated areas of your home (like a basement or attic), located on the exterior of the home, or in exterior walls. Beefing up your insulation will prevent frozen pipes and flooding all through the winter.
Winter is the perfect opportunity to stay cuddled up in your new home with a good book, some cocoa, and your loved ones - just make sure you do your due diligence to keep the cold out!
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