To prepare for winter, you want to complete several tasks around the house. After all, without proper care, cold temperatures, high winds, and snow can lead to big problems. This helpful home care checklist lets you know what to focus on the most. Not only will this prevent problems, but it will also make your house warmer and reduce the cost of utilities.
Make sure to insulate all water pipes. This is especially important for those within five feet of an outside wall or the foundation. In addition, some houses have water pipes on the outside. Regardless, wrap the pipes in quality insulation. Another option is to use foam designed specifically for this purpose. That way, there’s no risk of a pipe bursting due to frigid temperatures.
Sweep the Chimney
For a home with a fireplace, hire a professional chimney sweeper to clean it. After all, it’s common to find debris such as sticks, leaves, and even nests inside. The expert will also remove excess soot, also known as creosote. Clogged chimneys and accumulated creosote increase the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Install a New Furnace Filter
It’s important to change this filter about every six months. However, it’s even more crucial as part of winter home care. Doing so accomplishes three things. First, air from the furnace flows more efficiently. Second, it’ll reduce your monthly heating bill. Third, it prevents the heat exchanger from overheating and cracking. If that happens, carbon monoxide can leak into the home.
Change the Rotation of Ceiling Fan Blades
Some people don’t realize that ceiling fan blades help cool houses in the summer and heat them in the winter. It all has to do with the rotation of the blades. So, as it gets colder outside, ensure they’re moving in the correct direction. That way, they’ll push hard air that rises downward.
Inspect the Roof
As part of winter home care, be sure to inspect your roof. That includes looking for loose shingles, clogged gutters, missing pieces of flashing, and so on. This is especially important if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. The added weight could cause serious problems to a compromised roof.
Check Every Detector
Along with the fire detectors in your home, take time to check those used to detect radon and carbon monoxide. During the winter, the risk of carbon monoxide and smoke increases. Properly operating detectors save lives.
Installing new furnace filters is just one aspect of keeping your home safe and warm in the wintertime. So, make sure the system performs optimally. The best way to do this is by contacting a reputable company. A qualified technician will look for any potential problems so you can fix them early in the season.
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Locate Air Leaks
Even a small hole or gap is enough to let cold air inside. Depending on the size and location, this could cause your heating bill to increase anywhere from 10 to 50%. For windows, cover them with heavy plastic. For smaller cracks and gaps, you can fill them with a sealing material such as foam.
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