Winter brings cold, damaging weather, which can often make it harder to do proper maintenance work on your home. Avoid getting stuck in a bad position, waiting for a maintenance guy, and take care of the items on the checklist below for a smooth, relaxing winter season.
- Make sure your heating system is tuned up. Most HVAC companies have a basic tune-up service where they will come and check out your heating system is clean, in good working order, check for leakage, etc. Taking this relatively cheap step (usually $50-100) can prevent you from being in a massive line of people waiting to be serviced on the coldest days of the year.
- As silly as it might sound, reverse your ceiling fans. If your ceiling fans happen to have a reverse switch, activating it and then turning the fans on will generate an updraft, which then pushes the already risen hot air back down from the ceiling. This effect is particularly helpful for grand entries or other rooms with tall ceilings, and can help save some cash on the heating bill.
- Inspect your roof for cracks, broken shingles, or other potentials areas for leakage. It might be necessary to hire a professional to check these things out or repair them if you don’t have any experience or desire to fix them, but it is well worth the investigation. Making sure the top of your home is sealed before a big storm can save you thousands of dollars.
- Seal any gaps around windows and doors. These can be tricky to identify at times, but looking carefully around your windows and doors is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy. Some times you can feel a breeze coming through on a windy day, but most of the time visual cues will be your savior. Use some silicone caulk for most cracks and leaks, and be sure to wipe it clean around the edges for a smooth finish.
- Not to nag, but, clean those gutters! Clogged up gutters can cause water to back up against your house and cause damage to the roofing, siding, trim, and cause leaks and dams of ice. Make sure the gutters are clear of debris and that all downspouts are secured to the horizontal-running pieces.
- Prepare your lawn mower for inactivity. Like a car, you can’t just leave a gas-powered lawn mower alone for extended periods of time without taking a few steps first; unless you want the fuel to decompose and varnish the carburetor, making it hard to start a few months down the road. Lawn mower companies recommend filling the gas tank to the top with stabilized fuel and letting the engine run a couple minutes to circulate. Fuel stabilizers are cheap and help fuel last longer between uses.
- Don’t wait for storms to hit to get your ice melt or salt. Granted, you may have already had a bad storm this season, but don’t wait for another to come around before you get what you need to make a safe path for pedestrians and vehicles to navigate to and around your property.