Getting Your Home Ready For Hibernation with Lana Torre

Fall is upon us. Now is the time to think about getting your home ready for the winter months. So, before you look for your woolies, mukluks, and flannel sheets, here’s your ‘to do’ list

One of the most important jobs to attack is cleaning the gutters and downspouts. It is the messiest, but most important, job on your to do list. If left full of debris, gutters can freeze up causing structural damage, leaving you with a bigger mess to deal with in the spring.

It is obvious to put all your flower pots and garden furniture away. If you don’t have room in your garage, clean the furniture with a pressure washer, let dry, then cover with a tarp and tie down with bungee cords. When storing flower pots, empty all the soil, and place plastic bags between them when stacking. Clay pots will crack if left filled with soil, and they are so expensive these days to replace. Drain your hose, coil it up and store it inside too. Push your garden tools into a bucket of sand and they retain their sharpness, and will be rust free in the spring.

Here’s a little hint, if you wish to winter over your geraniums. Remove the plants from their pots and shake all the soil off the roots. Bring the plants to your dark basement and hang them upside down. They will remain dormant until spring, then you can bring them out and replant with fresh soil.

If you use rock salt on your walk or driveway, now is the time to buy a couple of 50 pound bags. Empty one bag into a large bucket and buy a large scoop at the dollar store. You will kiss yourself when the cold January winds are blowing and you prepared.

The obvious prep is to check for insulation in your attic space. Go to a big box store, or ask a professional. When your home has proper insulation, you will save many dollars. When at the store, check out kits that utilize plastic window film insulation. These kits are very inexpensive and it’s so easy to apply the film {usually using a blow dryer}. Remember, most heat is lost through the window glass.

Have a professional check your chimney. Purchase a chimney cap to keep critters out. Have debris and nests removed so you are perfectly ready for that holiday fire, contained in the firebox.

Have your furnace cleaned every year and replace the filter. And while you are in the basement, check out your ductwork. Are all connections in tact? Do your ducts need to be vacuumed?

Here is a short list of jobs to do before winter.

Replace smoke detector batteries.

Place an insulation strip under your door.

Wrap your hot water heater in an insulation blanket.

Install a programmable thermostat and keep it set at 68.

Find your holiday lights extension cords and spotlights.

Reverse your ceiling fan’s direction- when the blades turn clockwise, you are forcing the warm air down into your room.

You are now armed and ready for the cold weather. Replace your doormat with a fresh, new one that greets “Welcome… Winter”

Didn’t catch the live show? Listen to the show online.
Lana Torre – October 23, 2010

Comments are closed.