As temperatures fall and days get shorter, it is clear that winter is officially here. This means that it’s time to prepare your home for the long and dreary months ahead once again. So, get started with winter maintenance and take a few minutes to walk around your home and visually inspect all-important heating systems from a safety and efficiency perspective and take note of routine maintenance chores that need your attention.
Here are a few other effective tips to prepare your home for this winter season:
1. It’s Time for a Tune-Up
Inspect your HVAC, heating or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and clear of all problems and potential issues. Use carbon monoxide detectors to detect any presence of gas within your systems and seal off any exposed areas. Read the owner’s manual and learn about important maintenance tips and tune up your systems. This way, you can ensure that all your systems achieve their manufacturer-rated efficiency and do not end up costing you hundreds in heating and electricity bills.
2. Inspect and Clean Air Ducts
In the winter season, your heating or HVAC system is more in use than at any other time of the year. This is what makes it important for homeowners to keep the air and heat in their homes clean. So, inspect your air ducts to see if they require cleaning or not. If you notice mold or mildew growth, bad odor, high electricity bills, or unexpected guests, such as mice, rats, and other rodents, then perhaps it’s time for you to call a reputable air duct cleaning company.
3. Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged downspouts and gutters can wreak havoc in your home once they freeze. So, make sure to clean them regularly to prevent any type of blockage that could result in water flooding your home. Additionally, make it a habit to inspect the gutters outside the house as well. Keep the gutters clear of sticks, leaves, pebbles, and other debris to ensure melting snow can drain properly.
4. Add Extra Insulation to Pipes
Pipes tend to freeze and break during the winter. This may cause water leakage in your home and even lead to costly repair expenses. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry and add extra insulation to your pipes. You can consider using heat tapes, fiberglass, or even foam jackets. Additionally, keep in mind to caulk gaps and spaces and even around windows and doors. Silicone caulk is easy-to-apply and ideal for exterior use.
5. Hit the Roof
If your home had lots of icicles or ice damps last year, which can cause melted-ice to back up and flow into your house, then perhaps it’s time to take a look at your roof. Look for damaged patches and have them repaired immediately. Additionally, inspect for any missing or loose shingles which may leak from melting snow or during winter storms.
Add extensions to downspouts to divert water away from your house, turn off exterior faucets, drain your lawn-irrigation system, get ready to stow your mower, add winter stripping around doors and windows, and restock all winter essentials.
So, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, protecting your home from water and ice damage during the winter won’t be a problem.