All I can say is WOW…it’s November?! I’m pretty sure we just did the New Year’s countdown last week, right!? Time is a fickle mistress. Yet alas, here we are—November! Cold weather is coming and it’s a great chance to get a jump (err…catch up) on some home maintenance before the busy insanity of the holidays hits with full force!
So, without further ado, check out these 8 Tips for November Home Maintenance in your East Texas home:
- DON’T WAIT FOR THE BEEPING – Change out the batteries in your smoke detector. This one is easy, so start here and get some momentum going! While you’re at it, go ahead and get some extras for the TV remote too!
- DON’T BE A DRAFT DODGER—Cold drafts coming into your house can mean some annoyingly cold nights and can have big impacts on your utility bill. To find the hidden drafts, light a candle near each door/window. If the flame flickers (or if you suddenly feel a cold breeze go up your robe), then you’ve got a draft. Seal all openings with caulk or with weather-stripping.
- PUT IT IN REVERSE—Be sure your ceiling fans are set to spin clockwise. Hot air rises, so the “cold weather” fan setting distributes the hot air back down. Most fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades.
- PROTECT THE PLANTS—Bring any warm-weather plants indoors or to the garage so they have a fighting chance to survive the winter. (This is assuming you haven’t already killed them off over the summer, like I have.) Add mulch to your flower beds to create a warm “blanket” for the plants. It’s also a good idea to have a few blankets or towels ready for your most delicate warm weather plants in case we have some deep or extended freezing weather.
- DON’T BUST—Drain and disconnect your garden hoses and wrap/insulate all exterior pipes and install faucet covers to protect your spigots. Also, if you don’t have central heat, you may want to consider wrapping interior pipes—especially those on exterior walls to prevent an interior pipe busting. Nothing is worse than a busted pipe flooding your kitchen (unfortunately I’ve been there, done that. Not fun!)
- CREOSOTE BE GONE—Before you hunker down and light that first fire of the winter, be sure to check your chimney (or better yet, have it professionally cleaned) for buildup. Chimney fires are completely preventable, so prevent one at your house.
- TOOL TIME—Now is a good time to prune back your shrubs/bushes. After you cut back the growth, it’s a great time to clean and store your yard tools for the winter. Don’t forget to drain the gas from power tools that you won’t use until spring!
- FILTER CHANGE—Let’s end with an easy one, shall we? Be sure to change your HVAC’s air filter. It will help your system run more efficiently (save that money, honey!) cut down on allergens.
I won’t keep you any longer; I know you are just itching to get started on this to-do list (well, maybe after you watch just one more episode of The Walking Dead.) Here’s to a great November! Turkey and stuffing is definitely in my near future and Christmas carols are ready to be played on an overhead speaker near you.
Lisa E. Priest is a fan of all things November– especially a generous plate at Thanksgiving dinner and is an East Texas Area REALTOR® / Real Estate Agent with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can call her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or email Lisa@rentpalestine.com or at BuyPalestine.com.