As the kids head back to the classroom and the crowd around the water cooler returns to discussing college football games, we find our own thoughts turning to the upcoming fall season. Before you let your thoughts wander over to pumpkin pie or falling leaves, think about how you can start preparing your home for the colder weather ahead.
Several years ago we had a furnace inspection and discovered a small crack in our furnace that could have been leaking CO2. Scary! We purchased a carbon monoxide detector (which – yes, I know – we should have already had) and scheduled some bids for a new furnace. Better a new furnace than what else could have happened! Since then, we schedule an inspection for our furnace to not only ease any health concerns but also to save energy and extend the life of the furnace. http://www.furnacecompare.com/heating-contractors/how-to-negotiate.html
With this on our minds, we made a point to check out my parent’s furnace. They purchased a reusable, washable filter. The problem was that they forgot to wash it. In their defense, out of sight is out of mind. Set reminders for yourself to wash or replace your filters. Most filters need to be changed every three months, but you may need to change them more often depending on what kind of filters you use, the size of your home, and if you have pets or if you often open the windows to the outdoors. http://www.ehow.com/how_5724404_clean-washable-furnace-filter.html
Out And About
Speaking of the outdoors, focus some of your energy on preparing the outside of your home. Did you see huge icicles coming down from your gutters last winter? If so, youmore than likely need to clean them. Gutters can quickly become a huge expense if they’re not cleaned properly. http://www.diynetwork.com/remodeling/tips-for-cleaning-and-repairing-gutters/index.html
While you’re outside, check out your home’s foundation and sidings for any errant roots or cracks. Pay close attention to the areas where pipes or wires lead into your home. If there’s even a hint of trouble, it could turn into an expensive winter emergency or springtime project. The same careful inspection should be done with your driveway and sidewalks.
Look for cracks or gaps and get them filled before dropping temperatures make the problem worse. Lastly, the end of summer is also a good time to weather-strip your garage door (and set up mouse traps, if need be).
Enjoy the last golden days of summer checking for these issues and you’ll have a peace of mind that lasts until the spring. Don’t forget!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.