Even though Florida is lucky enough to not experience the snow winters the north faces, we still get pretty bone-chillingly cold down here. So before it gets too cold to work outside, take the month to button up your home for the weather to come.
We also know you’re busy, so we have taken the liberty of creating a handy checklist of home maintenance tasks that need to be completed this month, plus tips for how to do them faster and easier, or with the help of a pro.
- Weatherproof the House
We want to keep the warm in and the cold out, so do a once over of your home to find the cracks and little spaces the cold air will use to get in. You can find these along the baseboards, wall/ ceiling junctures, windows and doors, lighting fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets. Even though this does involve some work your wallet will thank you for it. By reducing drafts range from 5% to 30% per year. If you simply don’t have the time to do this but don’t want to miss out on the energy saving, you can call in a home audit that finds all the nooks and crannies where energy escapes costs $375 on average. Painters will seal up some gaps with caulk and that can run between $25- $100 an hour. You can also hire a handyman to install weatherstripping for around $30 -$50 an hour.
- Check Fire Alarms
Dead batteries cause 24% of smoke alarm failures, which puts your family at a greater risk. Plus this is the time of year full of cooking and baking disasters so you won’t want to skip this step. You should check your fire alarm twice a year to make sure they work properly. If you aren’t 10 feet tall and have ladder phobia, you can call an electrician or handyman to check your detector.
- Service the HVAC System
This is not the time of year for your heating to not work. Here in Florida we rarely use the heat, but our air conditioning is at full blast for 10 months out of the year. You can clean the HVAC grilles by popping them into the dishwasher. But an HVAC expert is the best person to inspect your system, this can run $60 – $85 an hour.
- Clear Dead Leaves
They aren’t just unsightly, but they will also kill your lawn. Have the kids go outside for a few hours and rake the leaves into bags. You can also hire a lawn maintenance service to rake the leaves the also aerate and reseed your lawn so it will green up faster in the spring, but this will cost you about $50 an hour.
- Secure the Home from Pests
Florida has its fair share of bugs, and like us when it is cold outside, they want to go where it is warm. Along with bugs, your home could become a nice hotel for other critters including mice, snakes, and racoons so sealing up those holes in number 1 comes in handy again. Also calling out the bug man is not a bad idea either.