Winterizing Your Home

    Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and Christmas decorations already line the isles of every store in the Austin area!  It’s all happening so fast and winter will be here before we know it!!!  Yikes!

    With the fast approaching winter, we need to start thinking about the little projects around the house that need to be done BEFORE the first freeze arrives on our doorstep!

    One can always hope for cooler weather!!!

    Even though freezing temperatures are not common in the Austin area, it’s a good idea not to be unprepared.  Therefore, we have put together a list of winterizing ‘musts’ that will help you ease into what could be a chilly season!

    Getting Your Home Ready for Winter:

    1. Clean the gutters.  Leaves and debris can cause problems if a freeze happens.  They can hinder proper drainage, as well as put unnecessary weight on the gutter if it then fills with ice.
    2. Wrap outdoor pipes.  Any exposed pipes are prone to freeze, so it is best to wrap them with insulated coverings or heat tape.  Hoses should also be drained.
    3. Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  Batteries should be replaced and alarms should be tested.
    4. Reverse ceiling fans.  The blades should be turning clockwise in order for warm air to be pushed down during the winter months.
    5. Check the furnace.  Turn on the furnace before the coldest day arrives.  It’s always a good idea to have an HVAC professional inspect the furnace to make sure it’s in working order.
    6. Trim the trees.  Make sure tree limbs are not hanging too close to the home or to electrical lines because they can cause extreme damage during a freeze.
    7. Seal window and door leaks.  Go through your home on a breezy day and see if you feel drafts coming through any of your windows and doors.  If so, you can seal them up with door sweeps, caulking and weather stripping.
    8. Set your furnace temperature on 55 degrees.  When you leave for a weekend or an extended stay always make sure you keep your furnace on in the winter in case a freeze happens while you are away.
    9. Ensure the fire extinguisher is not expired.
    10. Call a chimney sweep.  Chimneys are fire hazards if not cleaned properly.  Make sure a chimney cap is placed on the top of the chimney to keep out birds and rodents.  Inspect fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes properly.

    Who knows what the winter of 2016-2017 will bring, but there’s always a possibility we will have to trade in our shorts for a winter coat!!!

    If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in the Austin area, please contact Kathleen Bucher at 512.794.6644 or KathleenBucher@mac.com.  It would be an honor to earn your business!

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