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What an amazing extended summer we had in Central Oregon this year! Inevitably, though, the cold weather will come, which means you'll need to do some fall home preparation to ensure your home is ready to embrace the potential inclement conditions that lie ahead. But why, exactly, is it important to prepare your home for fall?

A family playing in the fall leaves outside their home

Preparing your home for colder weather is important for several reasons, as it helps ensure the safety, comfort, and efficiency of your living space. Here are some key reasons why it's essential to prepare your home for colder weather:

A woman adjusting her thermostat

Energy Efficiency: A well-prepared home is more energy-efficient. Proper insulation, sealing gaps and cracks, and maintaining your heating system can significantly reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills. This not only saves you money but also reduces your carbon footprint. A few ways you can increase your home's energy efficiency are:

  • Upgrading Your Insulation: Proper insulation is crucial for energy efficiency. Ensure your attic, walls, and floors are adequately insulated. Adding or upgrading insulation can help maintain a consistent indoor temperature.

  • Programming Your Thermostat: Use a programmable thermostat to set lower temperatures when you're asleep or away from home and warmer temperatures when you're awake and present. This prevents your heating system from working unnecessarily.

  • Upgrade Lighting: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs. They consume less energy and produce less heat, reducing the need for cooling in warmer months.

  • Seal Ducts: Inspect your ductwork for leaks and seal them with duct tape or mastic sealant. Leaky ducts can waste energy by allowing heated air to escape before it reaches your living spaces.

  • Seal Fireplace Dampers: We live in an area where real fireplaces are common. If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is tightly closed when it's not in use. An open damper can allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter, which decreases your comfort, but also your home's energy efficiency.

  • Practice Energy-Efficient Habits: Encourage family members to be mindful of energy usage. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use, and avoid unnecessarily high thermostat settings.

  • Install a Smart Thermostat: Invest in a smart thermostat that learns your heating and cooling patterns and adjusts accordingly to optimize energy use.

Comfort: A well-prepared home is a comfortable home. Ensuring your heating system is in good working order, sealing drafts, and insulating pipes can help maintain a cozy and consistent indoor temperature. This prevents cold spots, drafts, and discomfort during the colder months.

A worker cleaning a chimney

Safety: Preparing your home for colder weather can prevent safety hazards. For instance, cleaning gutters and inspecting your roof can prevent water damage and leaks. Here are some other things to consider about safety this fall:

  • Servicing Your Heating System: Ensures it operates safely and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide leaks.

  • Cleaning Chimneys and Fireplaces: Creosote, a highly flammable substance, accumulates inside chimneys as a result of burning wood or other fuels. Over time, creosote can build up to dangerous levels. If ignited, it can lead to chimney fires, which can spread to your home, causing extensive damage. Not to mention, a dirty or blocked chimney can hinder the proper flow of smoke and gases out of your home. This can result in the release of harmful pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, into your living space, which poses serious health risks. Regular cleaning and inspection help ensure not only a safer home, but also proper ventilation and air quality.

  • Cleaning Heater Vents: Over time, dust, dirt, allergens, and other particles can accumulate in your heater vents. When you turn on your heating system in the fall, these contaminants are circulated throughout your home, leading to poor indoor air quality. This can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions, causing discomfort and health issues for you and your family. Regularly cleaning out your heater vents before the heating season begins removes these contaminants, ensuring that the air you breathe is cleaner and healthier.

  • Clearing Out Your Dryer Hose: Ultimately, this step prevents fire hazards and should be done regularly, not just in the fall. Lint and debris can accumulate in the dryer hose and vent over time. When your dryer operates, it generates heat to dry your clothes, and if lint buildup restricts airflow, it can cause the dryer to overheat. This excessive heat, combined with the highly flammable nature of lint, can lead to a lint fire within the dryer hose or vent.

Preventing Damage: Colder weather can be harsh on your home. Frozen pipes, ice dams, and snow accumulation can cause significant damage if not addressed in advance. Preparing your home helps prevent costly repairs and structural damage.

Health: A properly prepared home can contribute to better health. Adequate heating, insulation, and ventilation can help maintain indoor air quality and prevent health issues associated with cold and damp conditions, such as respiratory problems.

A woman closing her blinds in her home

Reducing Utility Bills: We've never heard a single complaint about saving money! Energy-efficient homes tend to have lower utility bills. By taking steps to prepare your home for colder weather, you can reduce your heating and energy costs, saving you money in the long run. Here's a short list of ways you can cut utility costs in the colder months ahead:

  • Unplug Unused Electronics: Many electronics continue to consume energy when they're plugged in but not in use. Unplug chargers, appliances, and devices when you're not using them or use smart power strips that can cut off power to multiple devices at once.

  • Regularly Maintain Your Water Heater: Drain and flush your water heater to remove sediment buildup, which can reduce its efficiency. Lower the temperature setting to 120°F (49°C) to save on water heating costs.

  • Use Natural Heat: Take advantage of natural heat during the day by opening curtains or blinds on south-facing windows to let sunlight in. Close them at night to insulate against the cold.

  • Reverse Ceiling Fans: Change the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise in the fall and winter. This helps circulate warm air that rises to the ceiling back down into the room, so your heater doesn't have to work so hard, and neither does your wallet!

Convenience: Preparing your home in advance makes life more convenient during the colder months. You won't have to deal with emergency repairs or unexpected issues when it's freezing outside. This allows you to enjoy the season without unnecessary, avoidable stress.

Property Value: Whether you plan on selling your home in the near future or not, a well-maintained and well-prepared home often has a higher property value for when/if you do put your home up for sale. Potential buyers are more likely to be attracted to a home that is in good condition and doesn't require immediate repairs or upgrades.

Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home is ready for colder weather provides peace of mind. You can relax and enjoy the season without worrying about home-related issues and emergencies.

Environmental Impact: By reducing your energy consumption and ensuring your home operates efficiently, you contribute to a smaller environmental footprint. Using less energy and resources is better for the planet.

As the seasons change and fall arrives, it's essential to prepare your home to ensure it remains comfortable, efficient, and secure throughout the colder months.

While you're thinking about making some updates or doing some projects around your home this fall, make Building Solutions your one-stop shop for all your building material needs from trusted, high quality name brands like:

It’s not quite autumn yet, but it will be soon! Before you know it, the crisp air will be settling in and the colorful leaves will fall, indicating that winter is just around the corner. While you might be busy planning cozy evenings by the fireplace and warm cups of cocoa, it’s important to not overlook the maintenance and repairs your home needs before the colder months arrive. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of common home repair and renovation tasks that you should be on the lookout for. From sealing drafts to ensuring your heating system is in quality condition, these tasks will not only keep your home comfortable but also save you money in the long run.

a home gutter cluttered with leaves

1. Inspect and Repair Your Roof and Gutters

Your roof takes the brunt of harsh weather conditions, and winter can be particularly unforgiving. Inspect your roof for any loose or damaged shingles that could lead to leaks and water damage. Clear your gutters of leaves, debris, and twigs to prevent clogs that can cause water to back up and damage your roof, siding, or foundation. If you’re uncomfortable with heights or unsure about the condition of your room, it’s a smart idea to call in professionals to assess and repair any issues.

2. Seal Windows and Doors

Drafts can be a significant source of heat loss during the colder months, leading to increased energy bills. Check for gaps around windows and doors and seal them with weatherstripping or caulking. You can also consider adding draft stoppers at the bottom of doors to prevent chilly air from seeping in. Properly sealed windows and doors not only keep your home cozy but also help your heating system work more efficiently. There's nothing worse than feeling like the inside of your home is just as cold as it is outside!

3. Maintain Your Heating System

Before the temperatures drop, ensure that your heating system is functioning optimally. Change the filters in your furnace or heating system to improve indoor air quality and help the system run smoothly. If you haven’t had your heating system inspected in a while, consider calling a professional HVAC technician to perform a thorough check and address any issues before they become major problems during the colder Central Oregon months.

4. Check Insulation

Proper insulation is crucial for retaining heat and keeping your home comfortable. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, and crawl spaces to ensure it’s in good condition and properly distributed. Adding or replacing insulation can significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency and prevent heat loss.

5. Prepare Plumbing and Pipes

Frozen pipes are no good! And they can lead to disastrous situations, causing bursts and flooding. Before the freezing temps set in, insulate exposed popes, especially those in unheated areas like basements and garages. Shut off outdoor water sources and drain any hoses and sprinkler systems to prevent water from freezing and causing damage.

6. Chimney Maintenance

If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean and free from any debris or creosote buildup that can pose a fire hazard. Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney before you start using your fireplace for the season.

A home exterior with a cracked off piece that needs repair

7. Address Exterior Repairs

Inspect your home’s exterior for any damaged siding, cracks, or holes. Addressing these issues before winter arrives prevents moisture from seeping in and causing further damage. If you have wooden components like decks or fences, consider applying a fresh coat of protective sealant to shield them from the harsh winter elements.

A professional handyman trimming a tree

8. Trim Trees and Shrubs

Overhanging branches can pose a risk to your home during winter storms, for obvious reasons. Trim any branches that are close to your roof, windows, or power lines to prevent them from causing damage in inclement weather.

As the colder weather approaches Central Oregon, taking proactive steps to prepare your home can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs down the line. By inspecting your roof, sealing drafts, maintaining your heating system, checking insulation, preparing plumbing, addressing chimney maintenance, and tending to exterior repairs, you’ll create a safe and comfortable environment for you and your family during the frigid months.

For assistance with any of these tasks or if you have questions about winter home maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Building Solutions in Bend. Our team of experts is here to help ensure your home is ready to face the challenges of winter weather, keeping you warm and worry-free.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your winter home maintenance journey.

Office: (541) 388-9988

Building Solutions LLC

62960 Boyd Acres Road

Bend, OR 97701

Updated: Aug 16

When it comes to building or renovating your dream home, choosing the right supplier for your construction materials is essential. Building Solutions in Bend, Oregon, is a locally owned and operated company that has been serving the community for years. We pride ourselves on offering top-notch products, sustainable solutions, and outstanding customer service. Why is Building Solutions the perfect solution for all your building and renovation needs?

Log cabin style home with wood and stone exterior in the pacific northwest

1. We’re Locally Owned and Operated

One of the most significant advantages of shopping with Building Solutions is our local ownership and operation. Being deeply rooted in the Central Oregon community, we have a vested interest in the success and satisfaction of our customers—that's you! This local presence enables us to understand the unique needs and preferences of the community, allowing us to provide tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of local builders and homeowners alike.

Supporting a local business not only fosters economic growth but also promotes a strong sense of community. By choosing to shop with us, you can rest assured that your investment stays within the local economy, supporting local jobs and contributing to the betterment of the community as a whole.

2. Commitment to Sustainability and Green Products

Building Solutions takes sustainability seriously and is dedicated to offering green building materials that minimize environmental impact without compromising quality. From energy-efficient windows and doors to eco-friendly insulation materials, we strive to provide options that reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects.

By choosing sustainable materials, you not only contribute to a healthier environment but also potentially lower your utility bills in the long run. We’ve never heard a single complaint about saving someone money!

2x4 wood neatly stacked on one another

3. LMC Registered Dealer

Building Solutions is a registered dealer with Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation (LMC), which is a network of independently owned lumber and building material dealers across the United States. Being an LCM registered dealer signifies our company’s dedication to providing you with top-quality products and services.

LMC is renowned for its stringent standards, and its registered dealers are held to a high level of accountability and excellence. When you shop with a registered LMC dealer like us, you can be confident that you are receiving premium-grade materials and exceptional customer service.

4. Collaboration with Local Builders

We work closely with local builders, contractors, and construction professionals to ensure that they have access to a wide range of high-quality materials. This collaboration enables us to provide custom solutions that meet the unique requirements of each project. By establishing strong relationships with local builders, we stay informed about the latest industry trends, best practices, and innovations. This knowledge is then passed on to you, the customer, as you receive expert advice and guidance throughout your entire project.

fur rug on a hardwood floor

5. All Your Materials in One Place

One of the most significant conveniences of shopping with Building Solutions is that we offer a comprehensive selection of construction materials, all in one place. Gone are the days of shopping at multiple stores to find everything you need. Whether you’re planning on a small renovation or an entire home build, you can find all you need under our roof, saving you time and effort.

· Lumber and trusses

· Roofing materials

· Flooring

· Windows and doors

· Deck and siding materials

· Hardware and tools

person in red shirt holding a window

6. Exceptional Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is paramount at Building Solutions. Our team of knowledgeable and friendly professionals is always ready to assist you throughout the shopping process. Whether you need help choosing the right materials, calculating quantities, or navigating through sustainable options, we’ll be here to guide you through every step of the way.

Our commitment to exceptional customer service ensures that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience while shopping for your building materials. We value and honor your time and investment, and our goal is to make sure you have all the information and support you need to make informed decisions.

When it comes to building your dream home or embarking on a construction project, shopping with Building Solutions is the right choice. Our status as a locally owned and operated business guarantees that you’ll receive personalized service and support while contributing to the local economy. Our commitment to sustainability and green products means that we care about protecting the environment and providing our customers with energy-efficient solutions.

As an LMC registered dealer, we adhere to the highest standards, making sure you’ll receive top-quality materials and professional guidance throughout your project. Our collaboration with local builders further enhances our ability to cater to your specific needs and preferences.

Lastly, the convenience of finding all your materials in one place saves you precious time and effort, streamlining your building process. With Building Solutions as your trusted partner, you can confidently build or renovate your home while making a positive impact on the environment and the community. Now that’s a win-win!

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