While Atlanta winters cannot rival Northern cities (and who’s complaining), we do get a bit of cold weather. Here are 10 tips to keep Mother Nature in check for the next couple of months:
1. Disconnect water hoses from external faucets. While you are at it, purchase an inexpensive faucet cover and put it to work.
2. Inspect or install Carbon Monoxide detectors. Excess carbon monoxide levels can build up during cold winter months and monitoring it especially if you use your fireplace could be life-saving.
3. Speaking of fireplaces, call in a chimney sweep to ensure your chimney and vents are clean and in good shape.
4. Have your furnace or heat pump inspected by a certified technician. In addition to helping achieve maximum efficiency, an inspection will also measure carbon-monoxide leakage.
5. Reverse your ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push the heat down into the room. This is especially a good idea for rooms with high ceilings.
6. Check your roof for damaged or loose shingles and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys. A handyman will typically charge less than $150 to repair a few shingles or up to $350 for a 100 square-foot area.
7. Clean the gutters because if they are filled, water can back up and cause house, siding or roof damage. While you (or another resource) is up there, look for missing or damaged gutters and fascia boards and then repair them.
8. Add downspout extensions to ensure that water runs a minimum of 3-4 feet away from the foundation.
9. Don’t rake your lawn, mulch it. In addition to decomposing and nourishing your lawn over the winter, mulching will be one less time you have to rake your leaves. After a few months of raking, don’t you deserve a break?
10. Prep your mower for storage. If a mower sits with fuel in its tank, it will eventually decompose and cause difficulties for the carburetor. Simply run the engine (outside of course), until the tank is completely empty. Long after you’ve forgotten that you took this easy step, you’ll be back starting your mower with a single pull!