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Preparing for Cooler Seasons- Home Maintenance Tips & How to Weatherize your Pool

Your home is a huge investment. It requires maintenance, money, and commitment among many other things to keep it looking like the home you purchased. While every season comes with its own unique set of maintenance projects, the end-of-summer is usually the time when homeowners focus on how to prepare for colder months ahead. As you think about what you need to do to for winter, here are some helpful tips to put you on the right path.

Save Energy

Heating costs are expensive. There are several things you can do to cut back and help the planet:

1. Purchase or create a draft snake for underneath your door, or opt for weatherstripping. These economical options will keep warm air in and cold air out. For extra protection, consider implementing both and add them to interior doors found in the attic, crawl spaces and basement.

2. Use bubble wrap to cover windows where any cold air may pass. You can simply apply bubble wrap by using tape.

3. Caulk windows, doors and walls on the inside of the house, as well as outside.

4. Replace your furnace filter and schedule a service visit. Having a professional look at your furnace will help to determine if it’s working efficiently, which will ultimately cut back on energy bills before they begin to soar.

5. Turn down your thermostat to 50 or 55 degrees when you’re away from home or prior to bedtime. If you would rather not do this manually, consider installing a programmable thermostat, which will automatically reduce your home’s temperature based on the times and parameters you enter.

6. Add new windows and doors. Storm doors, and insulated doors and garage doors, as well as double- or triple-pane windows, will improve overall energy efficiency.

Insulate, Prune & Clean

1. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes. Inexpensive pipe sleeves are available at hardware and home supply stores.

2. Prune your trees. This will help keep tree branches from falling on your house or smashing your car.

3. Clean your gutters or have a professional do the work. Remind yourself: Clogged gutters are not something you want.

Winterize Your Pool

Keep your pool in good health during the cooler season by closing it down properly. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you avoid damages caused by frozen water.

1. Drain the filter. Locate the line between the filter and the pool and disconnect, then open drain plugs.

2. Lower the water in the pool. Using a garden hose with a submersible pump attached, reduce water to the area below the jets or outlets. This will drain water from the lines that run from the filter to the pool. To remove as much water as possible, use a garden hose attached to an air compressor, shop vacuum or leaf blower, and direct the air into the line where the filter was previously connected, leading to the pool.

3. Plug jets and skimmers, once all water has been removed. If you’re not familiar with the term skimmer, it’s a reference to one of the holes where water leaves the pool before reaching the filter. Plugs for jets and skimmers may be purchased individually; however, it’s common for home supply stores and pool manufacturers to include them in chemical winterizing kits.

4. Increase the level of water to the area under the tile line. It’s important to note that if the water line is not below this section, tiles can be damaged during the winter, providing the water freezes.

5. Add winterizing chemicals winterizing chemicals to the pool. You can either use chemicals provided in a winterizing kit, or purchase chlorine and algicide. Consider your pool size when gathering the appropriate amount.

6. Set up your pool cover.

Preparing your home and pool for the winter may not be on your top ten list of fun items to participate in as the weather cools down, but as the winter rolls in, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it.

by Paul Denikin

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
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