It’s summer, a great time to start prepping your home for winter

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — As the summer months settle in, what better way for Americans to spend their time than preparing for winter?

While the sun is out and the backyard barbeques are in full swing, home maintenance experts suggest now is the perfect time of year to start preparing homes for the colder months.

Plus, getting ahead and keeping up with maintenance could save Americans money in the long run.

Danny Horboychuk, brand president of The Brothers That Just Do Gutters, said in a recent news release that the best time for winter prevention is during the summer. He explained that it is a proactive approach to keeping home maintenance up to date while also avoiding risks associated with icy weather, such as busted pipes and carbon monoxide buildup.

No, you don't have to pull out your shovels or reverse your ceiling fans just yet. But here are some ways Americans can start preparing their homes now for the colder months.

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Reseal windows and doors

(Getty Images)

According to the Department of Energy, about 30% of a home's heat is lost through windows, especially in the cool months. Therefore, homeowners should inspect the seals around windows and doors.

Not only will recaulking windows and doors help keep the heat inside homes, it will also help Americans save money on energy costs.

Bill Richardson, the past president of the American Society of Home Inspectors in Albuquerque, told Kiplinger that homeowners should replace their window and door seals every five to 10 years. Viessmann reported that some weatherstripping only lasts a few years before it wears out.

If the gaps are larger than the width of a nickel, Richardson said the exterior of the home needs new caulk. He suggested using silicone caulk for the exterior because it won't shrink and is durable against the elements, Kiplinger reported.

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Get heating systems serviced

A repairman working inside a home, repairing a furnace. (Getty Images)

Imagine this: The fall months are coming to an end, and the first freeze hits. You go to turn on your heat, but nothing happens. What happens next? Well, it will be very cold, and who knows when your maintenance guy will be available next to come fix your heating system.

Getting heating systems checked and serviced now will protect Americans from this hypothetical, unfortunate event.

Plus, investing in annual servicing for heating systems helps save money in the long run. Whether using a furnace, boiler or heat pump, homeowners should have an expert inspect, clean and repair any possible damage, according to Kiplinger. The expert will also check and measure for any carbon monoxide leaks, the report said.

Cleaning out heating system filters will also help maintain effective heating systems as well as reduce the risk of house fires.

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Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Male home inspector checking the working condition of a smoke and carbon monoxide detector during the home inspection of a residential property. (Getty Images)

This one should be a habit, but just in case, here's a reminder to check the batteries in both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Plus, make sure they are actually working — most systems have an option to test the alarm.

Why is this imperative for winter preparation? Winter heating is one of the biggest causes of property fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Plus, carbon monoxide is an even larger problem during the winter when gases can build up inside without proper ventilation, Nomad reported.

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Don't forget a roof inspection

Detail of roofer working to remove old shingles. (Getty Images)

Getting a roof inspection might be one of those preventative actions most Americans ignore or just forget to do. However, this is as easy as using a pair of binoculars to assess if there is any damage to the roof.

If any shingles are loose, missing or just outright damaged, it's important to get those repaired or replaced.

For those wanting a more thorough inspection, homeowners can hire a handyman to replace or repair the damage for an estimated $100- $300, depending on the damage needing repairs, according to homeguide.com.

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Get the chimney inspected

Chimney sweep cleaning a chimney standing on the house roof, lowering equipment down the flue. (Getty Images)

While you are at it, homeowners with chimneys should get those inspected and cleaned as well. Cleaning out chimneys is a great preventative action to avoid house fires and carbon monoxide buildup, according to Kipling.

Plus, the National Fire Protection Association recommends homeowners have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned annually.

Inspect and clean dryer vents

A dirty laundry flexible aluminum dryer vent duct ductwork filled with lint, dust and dirt. (Getty Images)

Just like chimneys, dryer vents are also a major cause of house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. It's imperative to have dryer vents inspected and cleaned before the winter months.

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