Fall is a very beautiful time of the year with trees showing off their autumn attire in fiery oranges and reds. Fall is also a reminder that (ugh) winter is just around the corner and we have just a few short weeks to get ready!

One of the first steps in winterizing your home is to make sure that we block out unwanted visitors like mice and bugs who are also looking for a cozy place to spend the next few months. It shouldn’t be in your house! Here’s how:

Step 1 is to eliminate entry points by sealing up cracks and spaces around electrical wires and pipes where they come into the house. Use Great Stuff Foam Sealant for Gaps and Cracks. Great Stuff makes a variety of sealants including some that will expand up to three times. While eliminating entry points for pests, you are also sealing up places where heat escapes your home.

Step 2 is to eliminate another thing that attracts mice, stacks of papers or cardboard. The mice shred these materials to make themselves a happy little nest where they will multiply greatly. (Nooooooo!) So if you need to store papers and cardboard (especially in your basement or attic) make sure that you pack them in plastic storage containers that seal tightly.

Step 3 is to make sure to store food in airtight pest-proof containers and eliminate any water leaks under the sink or fridge. Eliminating leaks saves money too.

If by chance, a pesky rodent has not been foiled by all your efforts, Dunn can provide you with effective traps that can catch or kill rodents and other pests that have come to visit.

Next winterizing task is to put up gutter cables. Don’t wait until it’s 10 degrees outside. Some of us have done that and putting up gutter cables in a blizzard is not pretty. Once those are up, you can leave them up all year. Gutter cables are not designed to melt ice and snow off the roof, they are made to provide a clear path for melting water to flow off the roof. This prevents ice dams from forming in inclined roofs with tab shingles, and in gutters and downspouts. Our gutter cables are approved for metal and plastic gutters. Dunn carries many lengths and we also carry and auto thermostat that will turn the cables off and on based on the outside temperature.

While you’re outside, continue with pest prevention by removing standing water in areas like flower pots, pet bowls, birdbaths etc. Pick up fallen leaves and branches where bugs like to hide. Also prune back tree branches that touch the house or roof. Branches can provide bridges for little critters.

While it’s still warm, have your furnace inspected and air ducts cleaned. This insures safe and efficient operation of your gas or electric furnace. Change your furnace filter. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter you use but, whatever type, a clean filter will make the air flow better and cleaner. Dunn carries a wide variety of sizes and types of filters. We can even have filters made if you have an unusual filter size or shape.

Check your windows and seal leaks with caulk and reglaze window panes where necessary. Dunn Hardware repairs windows and screens here in the store. If your storms need repair, get them in early so they will be ready for you when the colder winds blow. Another way to save energy and money is by using Ace or 3M window kits. They are a sheets of plastic that are crystal clear. The kits are easy to apply and provide an air pocket between the glass and the inside room. This helps to stop the transfer of cold into the house and helps to stop the warm air from leaking out.

Another very important point is to check your CO detector and Smoke Detectors to make sure they are in working order. Replace the batteries and if your units are over 10 years old, you should replace them too.