Winter is no longer coming–it’s here! If you didn’t manage to prepare your house for this sometimes challenging season, don’t worry. There are still ways to make sure your home not only survives through winter’s icy blasts, but thrives. Here’s a list of winter home maintenance tasks you can easily take care of to make sure your house won’t need expensive repairs when winter recedes.
Check Your Heating System
Just because you may have forgotten to do this in the fall doesn’t mean it’s too late to make an appointment with your HVAC specialist. It’s important to keep your furnace running efficiently. Listen for any strange noises it might be making, and watch out for oddly cool areas in your home. Both can be a sign it’s beginning to malfunction. Heating systems also need regular cleaning by a specialist. If you heat with oil, this needs to be done every year. If your furnace uses gas, you need to have it done every three years. And always remember to regularly change the filter on your HVAC system!
Clean and Check Your Fireplace
Like your furnace, the fireplace can cause whole-house problems if you don’t keep it clean and checked. If creosote has built up inside your chimney it can catch on fire and cause expensive damage to the chimney, or worse, cause a house fire. You should have a certified chimney sweep clean and check it annually.
Protect Your Pipes
As most homeowners are all too well aware, plumbing issues can be some of the most expensive to fix. It’s important to take steps now to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Make sure the pipes in non-insulated parts of your house have pipe insulation covering them. Also, don’t ever set your thermostat to below 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. In stretches of severely cold weather, leaving your faucets open to a slow drip can also help prevent pipes freezing.
Watch Those Floors Near Doors!
Winter can be very hard on the entryways by the doors leading into your home. Whether you have tile, wood, linoleum or some other type of flooring, the ice, snow, gravel, salt etc. that gets tracked in can damage it over time. Make sure you have sturdy mats at your entryways, both outside and inside the door. Also provide a boot scraper to clean off the worst and a waterproof surface for storing muddy, snowy boots and shoes.
Check Your Roof
Ice, snow, hail and freezing rain can be especially hard on your roof. You need to check it and see if there’s any damage, like broken or missing shingles, or issues with your gutters. If you find any, time to call in roof repair. Water will damage the unprotected surfaces of a roof, causing much more expensive repairs later.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This is one we’re sure you’re already aware you should do, but just in case you overlooked it when Daylight Savings Time ended, we wanted to remind you of this important task. Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and, if they use battery power, have fresh batteries installed.
With just a little time and care, you will be able to keep your house beautiful, safe, and free from expensive damage this winter.