Get Ready, Here Comes Winter!
Where has the year gone? We are already coming to the end of Fall and turning the corner into Winter. California’s climate is more mild but we do get those mornings close to freezing sometimes. So, now is a good time to prepare your most expensive investment for cold weather.
The following steps will help lower your utility bills and protect you from possible damage to your home. Both of these can be helpful with California’s hot real estate market, ensuring your home increases in value for any day you want to pull cash out of your home equity or sell for greater payout.
- TUNE UP YOUR HEATING SYSTEM: For a nominal fee, a technician will inspect your furnace to be certain it is in good repair and operating at its maximum efficiency. This inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.
- REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS: Switch the blades on your fans to the clockwise direction. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling.
- CHECK THE ROOF: At the very least, scan it closely with binoculars. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals and vent stacks.
- CLEAN THE GUTTERS: If your gutters are full of leaves and debris water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding, and wood trim.
- DIVERT WATER: Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3-4 feet away from the foundation.
- TURN OFF EXTERIOR FAUCETS: Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Disconnect and drain all garden hoses.
- DON’T PRUNE TREES OR SHRUBS UNTIL LATE WINTER: Horticulturalists advise waiting to prune until late winter for most plants, when they’ve been long dormant and just before spring growth begins.
Depending on the microclimate of your area, some of these “To-dos” are more meaningful than others. In Northern and Central California, where below freezing temperatures are quite common in the winter, the chores related to protection against ice damage are essential.
Your home is probably your most valued asset. Treat it as such!