Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - by Robert Backer, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
Halloween is behind us. The temps are starting to drop. The smell of wood smoke is in the air. This time of year is when veteran homeowners know to make the most of the comfortable temperatures and get a jump on some important housekeeping tasks before the busy holiday season.
Stacey Freed in the National Association of Realtors’ Houselogic provides six helpful tips to make sure that your home is ready for what the next few weeks will bring.
Clean Those Gutters. This time of year we tend to get a lot of rain. To make sure that water doesn’t end up backed up into your house, take the time now to clean out those gutters. When you’re cleaning them, make sure those downspouts are pointed away from your house and foundation to help prevent erosion.
Switch the Direction of Ceiling Fans. Most have a switch to allow the ceiling fan blades to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. One way pushes air down to create a nice breeze, and the other sucks air up, helping to distribute the heat. Think counterclockwise when it’s warm and clockwise when it’s cool.
Clean Windows. Daylight is about to dwindle, so why not get as much of it as you can? Clean off all the bugs, dust, and grime from your windows while the weather is still warm enough to do so. For streak-free windows, combine ¼-cup of white vinegar with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of eco-friendly dish detergent and two cups of water.
If window cleaning isn’t a DIY job at your home, schedule a professional window cleaner (who, unlike most of us, can do it even when temperatures plummet) before the end of the month. The closer it gets to the holidays, the busier they get. Bright sunshine on winter’s darkest days makes it worthwhile.
Schedule a Heating Unit Checkup. To ensure your family will be able to feel their toes all winter, schedule early in the month for your heating unit to be serviced. As temperatures drop, service companies get busier.
Whether you hire your heating company’s technician or a contractor to do it, they’ll clean soot and corrosion from the combustion chamber, replace filters, and check the whole system for leaks, clogs, and damage. Nothing pairs better with frigid temps than the assurance you’ll be weathering potential inclement weather with warm air piping through the vents and cocoa in hand.
Also, remember that changing your air filters regularly will help your unit run more efficiently, and help give it a longer life.
Get a Chimney Sweep to Inspect the Fireplace. It’s time to dust off and sweep the chimney! Best to hire someone who knows wood-burning fireplaces. A professional chimney sweep will ensure your wood-burning fireplace burns more efficiently and will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. So, yeah, it’s pretty important.
Tip: If you don’t already have a chimney cap, this is also the time to add one to stop wild outdoor critters from crawling down it and into your house.
Insulate Exposed Pipes. If you’ve ever dealt with a burst pipe, you know it’s a sad, wet disaster worth preventing. To avoid the stressful (and very expensive) ordeal, prep your home’s exposed pipes with foam or heat tape — choosing which one will work best with your climate. Remember: The most at-risk pipes are often those in unheated areas such as an attics, crawl spaces, and garages, so secure those first.
Homeownership has many benefits, and taking care of these tasks now will help make sure ready for a smooth and seamless holiday transition. Realtors help their clients all year long get the most enjoyment, and money, out of their investment. That’s Who We R.