Although Pittsburgh is known for its beautiful mild summer days, winter is known to be very cold and dreary. While winter is officially still almost two months away, a very distinct nip in the air can already be felt. It is now, before the harsh weather conditions set in, that you should take the time to prepare your house for winter. Here are a few simple yet effective things you can do to make sure your heating systems, appliances, and the rest of your home is ready for the approaching cold.
Pay Attention to Your Appliances
An icy Pittsburgh winter can wreak havoc with your appliances. Although an appliance can break at any time, it does happen more often during winter when the decrease in temperature can result in clogged vents and pipes and hoses. It is therefore crucial to ensure that everything from your fridge and freezer to your washing machine and dryer are in good working condition before it gets cold. While there are smaller maintenance chores you can do yourself you may want to enlist the services of a reputable repair company to conduct routine maintenance on all your large appliances. If you prefer to plan ahead instead of having to fork out money for unexpected repairs, consider applying for a home warranty that will help protect your appliances and your budget.
Get Your HVAC System Checked
Your HVAC system will undoubtedly be one of the hardest working fixtures in your home this coming winter. If you want your furnace or boiler to be operating safely and effectively you need to make sure it is well-maintained. Make it a priority to inspect all filters on a monthly basis and to replace any that are severely discolored or show signs of wear and tear. Conduct a thorough pre-winter maintenance check in fall to make sure your comfort and safety are not compromised in the midst of winter by a faulty heating system. If you are not confident in doing the maintenance yourself, bring in the help of a professional who will replace your filters, inspect the burners, and have a close look at the various sensors and contacts.
Reseal Your Windows and Doors
If you have been living in Pittsburgh for a while you will know that even the slightest draft can have a very negative impact on both your utility bill and your comfort level. You can check for drafts by holding a candle up to each windowsill and door frame. Windows and doors that are found to be drafty can be resealed in a number of ways. While caulk and silicone are commonly used to seal both windows and doors, weather stripping can also be used with great success. If you want to cut down on your utility bill even more, invest in window film that will help keep the air inside your home warm.
Now is a great time to systematically start preparing your house for winter. Not only will your efforts help improve both your comfort and safety during the colder months, but it can also help you save money by reducing your utility bill considerably.