Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
Winters can be hard on a home, and a homeowner that doesn’t perform basic maintenance may regret it later when paying for costly repairs. The following are some winter home maintenance tasks to complete before winter.
Inspect and Service the Furnace
Have your furnace inspected at least once per year. The best time to schedule an inspection of your furnace is in late summer or early fall before you start using it regularly during winter.
One of the winter home maintenance tips for your furnace is to change the filter. New filters allow the best airflow, helping your furnace operate efficiently. It’s also a good idea to clean the exterior of your furnace to remove dirt and grime.
Winter Home Maintenance and Ice Dams
Ice dams form when melting snow on the top of the roof freezes along the eaves. Not only does this put extra stress on the eaves and the gutters, but it also causes the melting water to pool. Pooling water can then leak into your roof, causing damage.
If you already have an ice dam, you can mitigate damage by removing existing snow with a rake specifically for roofs. This will prevent additional water from pooling and being added to the dam. You can also melt the ice dam through various means and create channels where water can flow.
If ice dams are a frequent problem, hire a professional to assess why your roof and eaves have a temperature differential. You may need to add more insulation to your attic or install a vent pipe for circulation. Adding these measures will preserve your roof and keep you from having to replace it sooner than planned.
Check the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another winter home maintenance tip is to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so that you’re alerted to these dangers before they become life-threatening. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, heating equipment accounts for 27% of house fires in the winter months.
Install fresh batteries in your detectors and test them every month to ensure that they are operational.
Winter Home Maintenance Includes Weatherproofing Your Doors and Windows
Make sure your home is ready to endure the cold winter by weatherproofing your doors and windows. Check your doors and windows for gaps and seal them with caulk or weather-stripping. If you have serious leaks, hire a professional to make repairs or to replace the doors or windows.
Other weatherproofing measures include installing heavy drapes to optimize insulation. Heavy drapes act as a barrier against the cold outside. Installing storm doors will also add an extra layer of protection and insulation.
Other Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Switch your ceiling fans to rotate in the clockwise position. This will push warm air from the ceiling back down into the room. Also, flush your water heater tank to get rid of sediment and invest in a water heater blanket to better insulate it. Check for exposed ducts in crawl spaces, the attic, and the basement.
Winter weather takes a toll on a home. Brace yourself for winter by addressing some of the major home maintenance tasks involving your furnace, roof, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, doors, and windows.