December 10th, 2019
How to Prep Your Home for Winter Maintenance
The cold weather is here and now is the perfect time to protect your home from the upcoming season’s harsh conditions. By making small changes to your home maintenance routine now, you might save yourself from a financial headache and any seasonal damage to your property. Get your home through the winter safe and sound with some of these helpful tips.
Heating and Insulation
Now is the time to check pipes throughout the house for proper insulation and make any necessary changes. You’ll notice quickly during the colder months where air sneaks in through your home. Not only will this affect the comfort level inside the home, your utility bills will feel the pain as well. Check your home’s heating system and insulation fixtures so that you don’t spend all winter shivering inside. Make sure any pipes near windows, doors or particularly cold areas of the home, like the basement, are well insulated. If they’re not, add foam insulation around them or wrap them in dry towels or blankets for a quick fix.
Replace Batteries in Detectors
Nearly a third of all house fires occur in the winter, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked periodically throughout the year, and the change of a season can be the perfect reminder. Homes should have smoke detectors in every room with fresh batteries as you head into the colder months. The turn of seasons is a chance to check those batteries, replace where necessary, and test all detectors for functionality.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Stephen Fanuka, host of Million Dollar Contractor, says turning your fans clockwise is a secret to saving money on your electric bills in the winter. Most ceiling fans have a switch at the base of the fixture that you can simply flip to reverse its direction. This helps create what’s called an “updraft,” sending the heat down and the cool air up, keeping your home warm and cozy all winter long.
Annual Chimney and Dryer Inspections
Clogged dryer hoses or chimneys can pose huge fire hazards. Consumer Reports shares that you can prevent these house fires by cleaning your lint filter, emptying or replacing your dryer hose, and regularly checking the vent and exhaust. Inspecting your chimney can also help avoid these possible fires. Before you cozy up by the fireplace, make sure your home is prepared.
Make sure that the outside of your home is ready for any winter damage before it happens. Clean gutters to ensure water is draining properly, turn off outdoor water systems like yard fountains, get your roof inspected, and trim the trees close to any nearby power lines. By preparing your home’s exterior now, you’ll be ready to bear whatever elements the colder season brings.
This month when you are hanging holiday lights, decorating your mantel, and preparing to host dinner parties, getting your house ready for the new season is another item on the checklist. With the money saved on electricity and future repairs as well as the peace of mind knowing your home is in good shape, you’ll be thankful that you carved out the time for winter home maintenance before the season actually hits.