It’s wintertime — is your home keeping you and your family safe and warm? With the right maintenance, you can ensure that your home will be set for the rest of the season. This is a good time to inspect heating, insulation, and areas that are susceptible to ice and damage from cold weather.
- Get a heating system tune up: Even if you’ve been running your furnace for weeks, now is a good time to service and tune your furnace. Miss this maintenance task, and you run the risk of inefficient heating, or worse, a fire. Hiring a professional for this important system tune up usually costs $100 or less. Most furnace tune ups will include a visual inspection, burner cleaning, and safety tests to make sure your furnace is in top shape.
- Protect your pipes: Pipes both outdoors and inside are subject to freezing. Though your outside faucet may be the first to come to mind, pipes in your attic, crawl spaces, even under your sink can freeze during extreme temperatures. State Farm recommends that homeowners allow water to drip from faucets overnight, and open cabinets to allow warm air in during extremely cold temperatures.
- Inspect your roof: While you’re installing or removing Christmas lights, take a moment to look carefully at the shingles on your roof. Harsh winter storms and snow can take a toll on your shingles, and Kiplinger recommends that homeowners look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles, as well as breaks in flashing seals. You may need to hire a handyman or roofer to repair shingles.
- Prevent ice dams: Ice dams on your roof can cause melted snow to leak into your house. Call on an energy auditor or contractor to assess your home’s attic insulation, as improper insulation can lead to dangerous ice dams. Even if you don’t have a problem with ice dams, ensuring that your home’s insulation is up to snuff is a good idea during winter months
- Inspect your fireplace and chimney: During the winter, there’s a good chance you’ll be using your fireplace and chimney. Make sure they’re ready to warm your home by carefully inspecting them. Check for creosote buildup, remove ashes, and hire a professional to give your fireplace and chimney a full cleaning for safety.
How is your home holding up this winter? Check out the Choice Home Warranty website for more seasonal home maintenance tips for homeowners.