Let’s face it. Those precious hours of evening light are about to disappear—and they’re taking your will to do chores along too. Before you say goodbye to the light, give your home the updates it needs to stay safe and warm when the weather freezes and 35 of your closest family members trample in for Thanksgiving dinner.
Here are eight updates to tuck in before daylight savings time ends. Get to fixing.
Prep Your Fireplace
Stay warm without starting a fire. Hire a chimney sweep to inspect your fireplace and remove any soot and debris. This way, when it comes time for evenings by the fireplace, that fireplace won’t suffocate you, stain the wall or start a neighborhood bonfire.
Weatherize Your Windows
Now’s the time to fix those single pane windows—before winter comes and your house becomes a wind tunnel. Swapping out your old windows for more energy efficient models will keep you cozy and save you from heating bills that suck the cheer out of the season.
If brand new windows aren’t in your budget, you can give them an upgrade with new glazing and a layer of caulk.
Tune Up Your Furnace
Don’t wait for the storm to hit and your house to freeze to wonder, “I think maybe my furnace needs a tune up.” Do it now and hire a qualified professional to do the tuning—your Uncle Howard isn’t going to cut it. While you’re at it, you could probably use a new filter too.
Unclog the Gutters
Choked gutters can cause serious damage to your home’s exterior and plumbing. By late November most of the leaves will have fallen, making it the perfect time to scrape out your gutters and downspouts and replace anything that’s damaged.
Check Out Your Roof
Like the inside of your home? Then make sure your roof is in good shape. There’s nothing less fun than hiding from a light winter drizzle—in the middle of your living room. Hire a licensed professional to inspect your roof for damage, shingles and all, and avoid being asked to get on a ladder to check things out yourself.
Test Outdoor Lights
When daylight savings ends, things are going to be dark. Take the time now to make sure your exterior lights are working, and replace bulbs as needed. With your lights in working order, you can actually see the house you’re coming home to at night—and so can your holiday visitors.
Winterize Your Sprinklers
The plumbing outside your house is the stuff most likely to freeze and burst when the temperature drops. Avoid busted pipes by hiring a professional to blow leftover water out of your underground lines—and make sure everything is done properly.
Trim Dead Tree Branches
One reason not to come at your trees with a chainsaw this winter—it’s sub-twenty and you just don’t want to. Another reason—it’s actually bad for the tree. Instead of hacking away yourself, hire a professional who can tell you exactly which branches need to go and leave your trees healthy (and in peace).