12 Home Maintenance Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do in the Wintertime
There are certain tasks that every homeowner should make sure to do to stay prepared for the wintertime. Winter can take a toll on one’s house so it’s important to take extra steps to prevent any seasonal damage. Check out my Winter Home Maintenance Checklist for anyone who owns or even just rents a home!
Check on the Fireplace and Chimney
If you have a fireplace in your home, chances are you need to have your chimney swept before winter hits. Having your chimney cleaned and checked for cracks, debris, and creosote build-up is vital to its longevity. Keeping your fireplace and chimney safe every year is important since they can also pose extreme fire hazards if gone unchecked.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Preventing your pipes from freezing is probably the most essential winter task you can do for your home. When water freezes, it expands and can cause your pipes to burst and a whole lot of stress. To make sure your pipes are safe this winter try insulating any pipes that are near windows or are in areas of the home that are unheated. Disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet for the season and even consider using a cover on it. Finally, it’s important to keep your home at no lower than 55 degrees F.
Replace the Batteries in Your Detectors
Did you know that heating is the cause of 27% of structure fires during the winter months, according to the U.S. Fire Administration? Check the batteries in both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly this and every season. It is best to have a smoke detector in every room of your house, including the hallways.
Prep for A Big Storm
Storms are known to commonly cause power outages in the wintertime. Prep yourself and your family for the big storm with a proper survival kit and even a backup generator depending on the severity of the weather in your state. A survival kit should usually include things like water, canned goods, a first-aid kit, toiletries, radio, flashlights or lanterns, candles and matches, a heat source, utility knives, extra blankets and clothing, emergency contact info, games and activities, pet supplies, and even cash. Don’t forget things like extra batteries and your phone charger as well.
Put Down Mats By All Doors
Protect the entryways of your house from all the snow, ice, and mud of the season with doormats. Placing mats on both the inside and outside of each exterior door can prevent your floors from becoming a winter mess. Another thing you can try is putting out boot trays near the doors as well so shoes can be taken off when you enter the house.
Check Your Windows and Doors for Air Leaks
Checking for air leaks coming from your doors and windows is one of the easiest ways to save on heating costs during the winter. Make sure there are no cracks in the caulking or weatherstripping and replace if necessary.
Give The Roof A Good Look
Before winter hits it’s really important to take a good look at your home’s roof. Check for any loose or missing shingles and replace them to prevent any water leaks coming through from snow or rain. While you are up on the roof it’s also smart to check and repair any broken seals around vents or the chimney.
Winterize Your Air Conditioner
Even though your AC is built to withstand the outdoor elements it’s still important to protect it during the wintertime. Either invest in a waterproof cover for it or even just place a flat piece of plywood weighed down by a few bricks on top. This does plenty to help prevent any damage from occuring your AC during the winter.
Flush Your Water Heater
Get your water heater flushed once a year to remove any sediment that may have built-up over time. In New Mexico, this is especially important because of our dusty desert climate. You can help conserve energy and also save yourself money by insulating your water heater with an insulating blanket. This helps prevent your water heater from losing heats in cold rooms or closets.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans in your home then there should be a switch on them to reverse the direction. During the winter months, it is better to run your fan in a clockwise motion in order to push the heated air in your house downwards. Then in the summer, counter-clockwise to push cooler air downwards. This can make your rooms with high ceilings much more comfortable in the wintertime.
Clean Out Dryer Vents
Your dryer vents can get a build-up of lint and debris inside of them and also create a fire hazard. Each winter season take the time to unplug the dryer and disconnect it from the vent to clean it out.
Get Your Heating System Maintenanced
Last but definitely not least, always make sure to take the time to get your heating system checked and maintenanced by a professional. This is probably the most important thing to do every winter. Plus depending on the type of system installed in your home there may be different things that need to be taken care of to make sure your heater is running properly.
No matter what type of home you live in, the wintertime can be rough! I hope you all stay warm and safe this season using this handy checklist.