Before the Big Chill: A Guide to Winter Home Maintenance
A chill is in the air and now is the time to make the transition from fall to winter by preparing your home for the colder months ahead. Here are some ways you can do some much needed maintenance around the house and set the stage for an easier winter.
Change your air filters often. Check and change your filters regularly. Based on the type of filter, you may need to replace or clean it. Clogged and dirty filters can lead to fire and reduce the energy efficiency of your furnace. The NY Times recommends that you also “test your thermostat to make sure it works properly. Make sure heating vents are open and nothing is blocking them.”
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These life saving devices cost very little, and maintaining them is easy to do. Perform a regular test and add fresh batteries each season.
Seal up any drafts. Check your windows and doors for any gaps, then seal up gaps with caulking or weatherstripping. Consider adding additional insulation or installing storm windows and doors as well that will provide an extra layer of shelter come winter.
Get your chimney inspected. Before you can curl up next to a cozy fire, you’ll want to get a professional to clean it and check for damage.
Do a deep clean. Spring isn’t the only time of year when it’s good to clean. Even though now’s the time to hunker down, give your home a good clean by vacuuming, dusting, and organizing You should also get the carpets and drapes cleaned, as well as do a thorough scrubbing of your bathrooms and kitchen.
Check your pipes. Frozen pipes are not only an inconvenience (and a winter emergency), but they are costly to repair. Inspect any pipes that are exposed. Use heat tape or try insulating them to ward off issues when the temperatures plummet.
Get your roof looked at and clean your gutters. Now that winter is on the horizon, you’ll want to inspect your roof for any loose shingles or tears. If you don’t feel comfortable with this task, hire a pro. It’s also important to clean your gutters of any debris or leaves.
A little extra elbow grease will go a long way when it comes to home winter maintenance. By taking the time to address these concerns now, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your home is ready to withstand the approaching winter.
Our guest blogger, Paul Denikin, got into DIY home repair projects after his daughter was born with special needs. He created DadKnowsDIY.com to share some of the great resources he’s come across and to offer home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information. Paul’s top party tip is to be sure to invite the people you are comfortable or at least open to converse with!