Winter Home Maintenance
by Carla Hill
It may be cold outside, but it’s no time hibernate when it comes to home maintenance. Have you ever wondered how some friends or neighbors live in older homes that are still in good working order? This isn’t just a lucky coincidence.
Houses require careful attention, especially in the Winter, in order to keep in good working order. If you take the extra time each season to check your home over and perform the necessary maintenance, then you’ll be sure to have a sturdy home for years to come.
- First, it’s important to keep your family safe and warm when it’s chilly outside. Do a twice yearly check on your windows and doors for air leaks. Under most circumstances you can easily fix these with caulking. Are your windows in need of a more energy efficient upgrade? Have you thought about installing storm windows and doors? These are important questions to ask yourself. If you have older, non-insulated windows it may be time to replace them. You can even deduct some of these upgrades from your incomes taxes! If you find leaks, then take the necessary action to fix them pronto. You may find that some doors continue to leak air even after you’ve made them “air-tight.” This means it is time for Plan B. Storm doors work wonders for keeping out the elements. Many stores also sell draft blockers that sit at the bottom of you doors.
- Next, schedule a time to service your heating system. Central heat and air units need to be checked over. When a unit is well-serviced it will save you fuel and thus money. If your home is older, then you might consider a trip to the attic to check ductwork. You never know what critter has chewed through ducts or what parts have become disconnected.
- While you’re in the attic take a hard look at the state of your insulation. Is it adequate for your region? Is ductwork well-insulated? Older homes can sometimes be completely devoid of attic insulation. If so then it’s time to bring in some reinforcements. Insulation is relatively inexpensive and can save you big in the long run.
- Do you heat using a wood burning fireplace? Is it imperative for your safety to have your chimney cleaned and checked multiple times during the Winter season if you use your fireplace regularly. Chimney fires happen all the time.
- There are smaller issues to attend to as well. Did you know that your ceiling fans have two settings for the blades? You want to be sure to reverse your fan in the Winter so that it pushes the hot air (which naturally rises) back down into your living spaces.
- Gutters become full of leaves and other debris. If you fail to clean your gutters they can begin to hold water which can eventually rot away the siding and roof of your home.
- When the weather drops below freezing you need to keep your pipes from freezing. Let faucets drip and unhook all outdoor hoses.
- Finally, every responsible homeowner is stocked with the proper tools. Keep sand or salt on hand to de-ice slipper steps and sidewalks. Invest in a heavy duty snow shovel or snow blower.
Your home is your biggest asset and literally keeps a roof over your head. Be kind and take care even during the chilly Winter months.
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