Not to be dramatic, but winter is coming. We've had a relatively warm fall so far in the South, but it's time to winterize your home before the first frost sets in.

1. Check doors and windows for leaks
When the cool breeze starts to make its way through the cracks in your home, it can cause moisture to build up and can do some serious damage. It is always a good idea to seal any cracks or leaks that you may have on your window frames, door frames, trim and siding. Your heat bill will also thank you for doing this!

2. Clean the fireplace and chimney
Ensuring that your fireplace and chimney are clear of any unwanted debris and creosote build up is the best way to prevent a potential house fire. You can always clean a chimney yourself if you are comfortable with doing so, but it is suggested to hire a professional if it hasn't been cleaned in a couple of years.

3. Check your furnace
Is there anything worse than waking up to a freezing cold home in December because your furnace decided to kick the bucket in the middle of the night? I didn't think so.

In hopes of preventing this from happening, you should change your furnace filter and vacuum up any dust and debris around the furnace. It can't hurt to also have an HVAC professional come do a "tune-up" to check the fan belts, pulleys and furnace bearings.

4. Clear out the gutters
Gutters clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can be a nightmare in the cooler months. If your gutters cannot provide proper drainage for melting snow or increased rainfall, the water can end up leaking into your home instead.

If you're comfortable with using a ladder, cleaning your gutters can easily be done yourself. You can also call a professional to get the job done if heights aren't really your thing.

5. Remove and drain garden hoses
This is a simple task, but can be easily forgotten. Disconnecting your garden hoses for winter will prevent any remaining water from backing up into your home and freezing. When that water freezes, it will expand and can cause your pipes to crack. Some homeowners will even turn off any valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets.

6. Drain irrigation system
Similar to the situation with your hoses, draining your sprinkler system can prevent damage caused by freezing pipes. If you can, turn off the water to the system from your main valve and open the values to remove any remaining water. If you are unable to do so yourself, you can also hire an irrigation expert to clear the system with compressed air.

7. Switch your ceiling fans to "reverse"
How long did it take you to learn that you can actually change the direction that your ceiling fan spins? Flipping that strange little switch on the side of the fan will make it spin the opposite way. Because heat rises, reversing the direction of your ceiling fan can actually help circulate the warm air back into the lower living space.

 

Looking for more advice about managing your home? Visitwww.crye-leike.com/blogsfor more real estate tips and tricks!

 

ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.