Fall in El Paso, Texas may not bring the dramatic change in outdoor scenery that "greener" parts of the world get to experience this time of year, but we still get to enjoy an extended break from the *warm summer temperatures. (*some also call it an inferno)
As we approach the cool to really, really cold weather, use this list from lifehack.org, as a reminder and reference to ensure that your home and property is best prepared to brace for occasional snow and down-right frosty days ahead.
"Winterize" air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.
Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety.
Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames.
Programmable thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
Do a roof check. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
Bring in flowerpots. If you keep plants or flower in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put away for next spring.
Fertilize lawn. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. If you have a lawn service, they should do this for you.
Check water drainage. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
For an extended list of these "winterization" tips, visit lifehack.org, and feel free to share this post using the links below with friends and neighbors who could may find these tips helpful!