In the second part of our fall prep post we’ve gathered together some great tips and ideas for making the most of the fall weather to prepare your home for the coming winter and to give it that warm, cosy feeling we all crave when the temperatures drop:
Indoor Fall Prep
Schedule a Furnace Check – There is nothing worse than a cold home in the winter, so now is the time to schedule a preventative furnace checkup before all of the local HVAC companies are swamped with emergency requests. If you opt not to pay for a full service – maybe you got one in the spring – at the very least ensure that you change the furnace filter before you crank that heat up for the first time.
Check the Doors and Windows for Drafts
Many people do not realize just how much heat is lost from a home – and cold air allowed to enter – thanks to small cracks and gaps around window and door frames.
To check that the weatherstriping around your exterior doors by opening the door, placing a piece of paper in the lintel and then closing the door. If the paper is trapped and can’t be moved easily, then the insulation is adequate. If it moves easily it is not, and it is time to replace it.
When it comes to windows visually check the caulk for cracks and even if it looks OK try the feather test. Hold a feather next to the seals and joints along the window frame. If the feather moves a lot, the joint may be leaking and you should get the window inspected before the really cold weather arrives.
Let There Be (Lots More) Light
During the colder months you need to create a light, cosy feel to counteract the extra darkness outside. Consider adding an extra lamp to darker corners and the addition of soft candles can impart a warming glow that is both charming and cosy.
As the natural sunlight is a little harsher in the winter if blinds and drapes are dirty or dusty that will be significantly more noticeable, not a good look if you are selling your home or if you are expecting holiday guests, so now is the time to clean them.
Home Safety Check
Now is the time to test both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are functional and to replace the batteries with fresh one, something that should be done every six months anyway. You should also take the time to ensure you are prepared for any winter power outages by ensuring that you have a torch, batteries, candles and maybe even a few charged power packs for your cellphones on hand.
Make Sure You Have a Mudroom
Even if you do not usually have a formal mudroom in your home the winter is certainly a time when you really do need one, so now maybe the time for a little DIY. All you really need is a hardy indoor/outdoor rug, a coat rack of some sort and a wooden shoe rack, but if you want to get a little more creative, there are lots of ideas out there on the Internet that might be a lot of fun to spend a weekend implementing and even add some extra visual appeal to your home overall.
Add Some Simple Fall Touches
Scented candles, scented wax warmers, thick, colorful throws and other fall decor touches are usually inexpensive and yet they really can add a great deal to help you create the warm, welcoming ambiance that the Fall calls for with relative ease.