Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Preparing your home for winter is an important annual ritual for homeowners. And do not forget that tuning up your heating system now can help prevent more costly emergency repairs at the height of a storm, when it can be difficult to find supplies and licensed contractors. The following winter maintenance tips can help you prepare your home to withstand another cold season.
Clean It - Start the winter with a clean furnace - a cleaner furnace can save up to 5% of fuels costs over the course of the year compared to a dirty one. And with this season’s lower than expected oil prices, filling up your tank will be more affordable.
Avoid ice damming by keeping gutters clear of leaves, sticks and other debris to ensure melting snow can drain properly. If the snow refreezes, it can lead to water damage inside your home or possibly even a roof collapse.
Seal It – Keep cold air out and warm air in this winter. Grab a tube of caulk and take a walk around your home to seal any openings around windows, doors, vents and electrical wires. Also sealing any openings will prevent mice from sneaking in to enjoy your warm winter air!
Remove hoses, turn off outside water and tighten outside faucets as pipes can burst if water in the pipe freezes. And during a deep freeze, remembering to drip your inside faucets ever so slightly will greatly eliminate the risk of inside pipes bursting.
Check It – Check smoke detectors, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights to ensure they are operating properly. Have extra batteries on hand and replace if necessary.
Keep a cache of candles on hand but when in use keep the flame away from flammable items and never leave them unattended. Same goes for a portable space heater!
Store It – Having a supply of warm blankets in the linen closet, bottled water in the pantry and ice melting compound in the garage is always a good idea. And keeping a small bucket of sand and a shovel handy insideyour home will be most helpful . . . especially if Old Man Winter brings a foot of snow to your door!