What to do now to pre­pare for win­ter

Lesotho Times - - Property -

IT’S al­ready April, and the cold — re­ally cold — weather will be here be­fore you can snap your fin­gers. Get a jump on win­ter by tak­ing care of a few things in and around the house now, while it’s still bear­able tem­per­a­ture­wise. Now is the time to give your home a lit­tle love and at­ten­tion so that you are pre­pared for the colder months, and that costs don’t un­nec­es­sar­ily soar and plough a hole into your pocket.

Or­gan­is­ing your home for win­ter can seem like an an­noy­ing and per­haps un­nec­es­sary chore. But the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits will out­weigh any feel­ings of be­ing “put out.” Win­ter heat­ing costs can sky­rocket if your win­dows are poorly in­su­lated, your plumb­ing breaks, or if the heat­ing sys­tem is out-of-date. En­sur­ing your home is prepped prop­erly can save you a nice chunk of change while pro­tect­ing your prop­erty for years to come.

Break It Down Look­ing at a gi­ant to-do list is over­whelm­ing. To save frus­tra­tion, break it down into two or three jobs you can tackle over the next three to four week­ends. First up, win­dows. Check each one in the house for drafts and in­su­la­tion needs. The fol­low­ing week, in­spect pipes to avoid an un­for­tu­nate burst in Jan­uary. You can make things even eas­ier by di­vid­ing the job among the fam­ily. As­sign each per­son a room to in­spect and re­port back on whether it’s ready for win­ter.

Here are some tips to make for an eas­ier tran­si­tion into the cold...

It’s ad­vis­able to do an as­sess­ment of the out­side struc­ture of your house. This in­cludes walls, win­dows, doors, floors and roofs. Have a proper look around at what needs to be re­paired, sealed or in­su­lated. Gut­ters and drains should also be cleared of leaves and de­bris on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Over­flow­ing gut­ters and drains could drench walls and cause dam­age to your home.

Elec­tric­ity is one of the big­gest cul­prits when it comes to win­ter costs. There are a num­ber of mea­sures you can put in place to bring your elec­tric­ity bill down, and proper in­su­la­tion of your home is one of them.

Make sure your home is in­su­lated cor­rectly so that heat is not lost un­nec­es­sar­ily. In­su­la­tion isn’t just for cold cli­mates. If your home is in­su­lated cor­rectly it will keep your home cooler in the sum­mer as well as keep it warm in win­ter.

Have your geyser in­spected or ser­viced be­fore win­ter starts, as they are one of the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to elec­tric­ity bills.

Heat Things Up Every­one en­joys cozy evenings by a crack­ling fire? En­sure your fire­place is ready to pro­vide warm nights all win­ter. Be sure to have the chim­ney in­spected and cleaned by a pro­fes­sional be­fore the first frost. Also, have a pro­fes­sional per­form a rou­tine check of the heat­ing sys­tems be­fore cold weather ar­rives. This should in­clude vac­u­um­ing the vents and other heat­ing com­po­nents. If your fur­nace has a fil­ter, check to see if it needs re­plac­ing. For more energy sav­ings, con­sider in­stalling a set­back ther­mo­stat that keeps the home cooler when you are asleep or away.

Seal the Leaks Keep drafts to a min­i­mum this win­ter. If you have them, in­stall storm win­dows and doors -- and don’t over­look the base­ment. Add or re­place worn weather strip­ping around the doors and win­dows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, re­place them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an ex­te­rior wall, be sure to use caulk­ing and weather-strip­ping around all en­try points. These steps will block any po­ten­tial en­try points for cold air. That’s an idea you can warm up to. — Pri­vateprop­erty

MAKE sure you keep your fur­nace main­tained to pre­vent your home from catch­ing fire.

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