Live in Texas, they said.
It’ll be fun, they said.
And to be honest, it is a lot of fun, except for the whole weather not making up its mind thing.
The Dallas area bi-polar weather is here. One minute it’s a happy day with blue skies and sunshine and the next it’s crazy cold with hail or freezing rain. Below are a few tips to keep you two steps ahead of Mother Nature’s sick sense of humor this winter. Following these tips are good now and even better when it’s time to sell your home in Dallas. Homeowners that do regular maintenance are much better off when it’s time to list!
Check Your Heating System
Every home in Dallas has a different type of heating system depending on where it’s located and when it was built. If you have a high-efficiency system, PVC vent pipes need to be cleaned out and cleared of obstructions. If you have a gas system, be sure you’re having it cleaned every three years.
Clean Your Fireplace and Chimney
If you plan to use your fireplace for more than just hanging stockings, have a chimney sweep clean it out first. Be sure there is no debris stuck in the chimney and no cracks have appeared. Leaves and bird nests could pose fire hazards if not properly removed.
Change Batteries in Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Did you know that heating devices cause 27 percent of structure fires that happen during the winter months? It’s important to regularly check your alarms and detectors for the safety and well-being of your family.
Check Your Pipes
Because Dallas and the North Texas area only sees a handful of below-freezing days each season, pipe care could fall to the wayside. To prevent your pipes from freezing, you’ll want to insulate pipes that are near windows, doors, and areas of your home that don’t receive much heat. Also, don’t forget to unhook your water hose from the outdoor faucet.
If cold air is leaking into your Dallas home, your electric bill will start to skyrocket. Check for air leaks around doors and windows and be sure there aren’t any cracks in the caulking or weatherstripping. If you notice any cracks, be sure to repair them.
Give your roof a once over to check as a precaution. If you notice loose or missing shingles, go ahead and fix or replace them. In the event we do see ice or snow, once it melts, it could cause a leak. This will also allow you to double-check for any broken seals around vents and your chimney.
Adequate insulation will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Without the proper amount, your heating system will have to work harder, adding more money to your electric bill. Cut down on your cost by adding insulation to your attic, walls, and crawlspaces.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
You may want to wait to do this until it gets really cold, but did you know that you can change your ceiling fan from counterclockwise to clockwise? By doing this, the fan will push the heated air down. All you have to do is look for the switch on the side.
Trim Your Trees
Before it gets too cold, you’ll want to do one last round of yard work, which should include trimming any large trees you have in your yard. Because we can never fully predict what type of weather we’re going to see in Dallas, having trees trimmed and not hanging over your house could prevent damage in case of an ice storm. **Side note – if you plan on planting trees, November is typically the best month.
Flush and Insulate Your Hot Water Tank
Clean out your hot water tank to remove any sediment that may be inside. If you have an older tank and it’s stored in the garage or in a closet that doesn’t get much heat, consider wrapping it with an insulated blanket to help conserve energy. By wrapping your tank in a blanket, you’ll prevent the hot water heater from losing heat and prevent it from taking longer for the water to warm-up.