The leaves are changing and that can only mean one thing, summer is over and it's time to prepare our homes for the upcoming winter.
Old Farmer's Almanac Winter Predictions (2014-2015): Winter will be much colder than normal, with the coldest periods in mid-December, from late December through early January, and in mid- and late January. Precipitation will be slightly below normal, but snowfall will be above normal, with the snowiest periods in early to mid-November, mid- and late December, late January, early February, and early to mid-March.
Here is a list of tips for homeowners to help prepare their homes for the winter and keep your friends and family safe and warm.
•Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
•Keep flammable materials, including all lawn and power equipment, away from water heaters and wiring in the basement.
•Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures, and turn up the thermostat during extra cold periods.
•Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important during the fall season to keep leaves from building up in gutters.
•Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
•Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases; and make repairs as needed.
•Have your chimney cleaned and maintained annually by a professional.
•Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
•Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
•Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
•Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation.
•Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure there is one on each floor of your home. Test them monthly, and change the battery annually or as needed.