Winter Maintenance Tips For Your Home

It is time to go over our winter maintenance tips for your home.

Your Furnace:

  • If you did not already do so during your fall maintenance, arrange for a professional to come out and inspect your furnace to insure it is working properly. You do not want the heat to quit working during one of those cold winter nights.
  • A programmable thermostat is a great idea. We have one in our home and love it. Programmable thermostats allow you to create a heating/cooling schedule for your home.At night, you can program it to a cooler temperature while you are sleeping. Then right before it is time for you to get up in the morning, set it to bring the temperature in your home up a few degrees to make it more comfortable. You could also lower the temperature while everyone is gone during the day and have it warm your home back up before you come home.
  • Stock up on furnace filters. Dirty furnace filters waste energy and money. They will also make your furnace work harder to keep your home heated which in turn cost you more money.
  • Move any flammable materials away from your furnace before using it. Many fires start during the winter months because flammable items were being stored too close.

Your Fireplace:

  • Check your fireplace damper to make sure it is opening and closing properly. If it is not working properly, you could end up with a room filled with smoke.
  • Stock up on your firewood should you have a wood burning fireplace.Here is a tip I read somewhere that I thought made a lot of sense. Store your firewood at least 50 feet away from your home. This is to prevent a fire and also to keep the termites a safe distance from your home.

More Winter Maintenance Tips

Your Detectors, Extinguishers and Humidifiers:

    • It is important to install a carbon monoxide detector if you have not already installed one. Furnaces and gas log fireplaces can give off carbon monoxide gases which are toxic. Read and follow manufacturer’s recommendations on installing and where to place the monitoring device.

Should you already have a carbon monoxide detector, it is time to install fresh batteries.

  • It is also time to put fresh batteries in all your smoke detectors in the house. Always remember to periodically test all of them to make sure they are working probably.
  • Test your fire extinguishers and recharge them if necessary.
  • Inspect and clean humidifiers so they will run properly.

Crawl spaces and attics:

  • Check to make sure your attic has enough insulation and add more if it is needed. Without adequate installation in your attic, heat will rise and go right out of your home. This forces your heating system to work a lot harder to keep your home warm.
  • Close crawlspace, attic and storage area vents that you may have had open during the summer to help keep that heat inside where it belongs.

More Winter Maintenance Tips

Outside:

  • Make sure you have removed the nozzles or sprayers from the end of gardens hoses and drained any water left in the hose. Also, turn off any outdoor water faucets.
  • Patch any cracks in your driveway and sidewalks. Do this with a cement or asphalt kit to prevent the water from entering into the cracks and freezing. If water freezes in the cracks, the cracks will expand and create even large cracks in the pavement.
  • Make sure you pick up a few cans of de-icer as the winter begins. It is much easier to use than just scraping the ice off the windshield of your car. We always make sure we have a can in the car before leaving home in the winter.
  • Drain the gas from your lawnmower and put it away for the winter.
  • If you live where you have a lot of snow and have a snow blower, remember to have it and other snow removing equipment you may have tuned up.You should also have a snow shovel, rock salt, sand and other tools for dealing with the ice and snow in your driveway and sidewalks.
  • Check your car’s antifreeze levels and fill if they are low.
  • Inspect car tires and applicable in your area, replace with snow tires.

More Winter Maintenance Tips

Here are some you may not have done during your fall maintenance:

  • Clean and store away your patio furniture;
  • Move the potted plants and delicate trees inside or closer to your home so they will not be damaged by the freezing temperatures; and
  • You do not want that warm heat inside your home escaping. So, seal the areas around the dryer vent, cable outlets and windows with a caulking gun. Look for any cracks and/or holes around outlets and outdoor fixtures also.

We hope these winter maintenance tips have been helpful and that you stay safe and warm this winter!

Check out our Fall Maintenance Tips.

Check out our Exterior Spring Home Maintenance Tips.

Dave Altman
 

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