Preparing your home for the winter season

JoelWell, it’s not quite beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but the cold weather will be coming in pretty fast, so here’s a few tips to get your home in order and prepared for the winter season. Check the gutters on your house. Make sure they are cleaned and will drain water properly. This will help prevent ice damming when we really get into the winter season.
 Remove hoses from all outdoor faucets and make sure they are drained. Turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets if the water lines are not located in a heated space, or if you do not have frostproof faucets.
 If you have storm windows, now’s a good time to get those up. Storm windows serve as an additional barrier against the cold winter winds and can help keep your heating bill lower.
 Let’s head inside now and take care of a few more things…
 Change the batteries in your smoke alarm. One should be located on each level of your home. Also…
 Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector or replace them every two years. Some of these are battery operated, while others are plugged directly into the outlets. Check and see which kind you have. These should be located in bedrooms or living rooms. 
 Change the filters in your furnace. It also would be a great idea to have a thorough cleaning or reconditioning done before we get into using it full swing.
 Have a trained professional clean and maintain your fireplace chimney. Creosote can build up and become very dangerous unless cleaned on a regular basis.
 Finally, if you do have water lines that run through an unconditioned space, plug in your heat tape. The last thing you’ll want is frozen or busted water pipes. Just a little time and effort can save you lots of dollars by being prepared in advance. Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a WJBK-TV Fox2 Detroit news contributor and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.