Get Your Home And Pool Ready For Winter
Fall is here and now it’s time to do some around-the-house maintenance while it is neither too hot or too cold. Look inside and outside for items that need to be made safe and secure for the winter.
Prepare for the cold
You need to review your home’s appliances and insulating features to make sure they will protect you against the upcoming cold weather. If you have not done so, consider getting an energy audit.
In a typical energy audit, a technician will come to your home and, using specialized equipment, tell you where your drafts are worst. He or she will then recommend improvements to your home’s thermal envelope.
If you don’t want to pay for a professional audit, you can still go around the inside of your home and put your hand against the walls, corners, window sills and doors to see where the air is coming in. Then, using caulk and weather strips, seal up cracks and holes where cold air enters.
It’s also a good time for routine maintenance of your heating system. The best step is to hire a professional heating and cooling business to check out your furnace or HVAC and make any needed repairs before it gets too cold. Also, be sure that you have enough replacement filters on hand so that you can replace dirty or hairy HVAC and furnace filters.
If it’s time to finally replace that aging HVAC, consider getting a geothermal heating and cooling system. They are pricey to install, at approximately $20,000 for 2500 square feet, but they use less than a quarter the electricity of a traditional HVAC. Over twenty years, they will repay you in energy savings.
Retire your pool for the season
Swimming is great exercise, but unless you’re a member of the polar bear club, swimming season might be over for this year.
That means it’s time to secure your pool to keep it, and your neighbors’ children, safe. One good option is a safety cover. These covers, when properly installed, prevent children and neighborhood critters, like cats, dogs, and ponies, from taking a dip in your pool and requiring you to rescue them.
Safety covers come in mesh or solid. Mesh covers have the advantage of being lightweight and easier to handle and install. Properly installed, they can support a surprising amount of weight. Mesh covers can also last for years, if cleaned and stored properly during the spring and summer.
If, however, you are worried about children or large animals walking across your closed pool or throwing a party on top of the cover, you will need a solid safety cover. Solid safety covers have the advantage of keeping your pool so clean, you will have to take fewer measures to get it up and running for the summer.
The disadvantage to a solid cover is that you will have to siphon or vacuum up rain water off its surface throughout the winter, because the cover will not let the pool absorb that water.
It is not a good idea to cover your pool with a tarp. Such covers simply do not keep intruders out of your pool. Unfortunately, pool owners have quite a bit of legal responsibility for accidents in their pools, even if the injured parties were uninvited.
Some experts think you should put a locked fence around your pool. And some communities have adopted specific laws concerning pool safety. Consult your local ordinances to make sure your pool and its safety features are compliant with all laws.
Pool safety and home heating are two important issues to address before the winter months are here. A few hours of preparation may save you from a truly chilling experience.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
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