Prepare Your House for Winter with These Maintenance Tips
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By the time November rolls around, you don’t want to be worrying about pipes bursting or through-the-roof heating bills. You want to concentrate on holiday festivities, organizing your family’s schedules, and all the amazing foods that come with the season. Winter-proofing your home post-summer can help prevent disasters so you don’t have to spend time fixing an emergency repair when you’d rather be enjoying the crisp, cool air. While the weather’s still nice, complete the following tasks to protect your home.
Protect Your Home with Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
As the weather cools and you begin using heating and cooking equipment in the home more often, the dangers of carbon monoxide are more prevalent. High levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal, and even lesser levels can cause problems including headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Fire hazards also increase during the holiday season. Decorations, increased use of fireplaces, candles, cooking, and fireworks all run the risk of causing fires in the home. To protect your family, install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors throughout the home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside of each bedroom in the house. Fire detectors need to be mounted high on a wall, but still low enough to access.
If your home already has carbon monoxide and fire detectors, check their batteries and efficacy before the holidays. Change dead batteries and buy backups for replacements during the busy season. It’s an afternoon chore that can save your family’s lives.
Replace HVAC and Furnace Filters
After the summer months, your HVAC filters are clogged with dirt, allergens, dust, and debris that make it harder for your system to work efficiently. If your filters look dirty, it’s time to replace them. Dirty filters make it more difficult for your HVAC system to work efficiently, which drives up your heating and cooling costs. If your home has a furnace, you definitely want to give it a new filter so your home stays toasty throughout the season without wasting expensive energy. Other reasons to change your filter include:
- – If you or someone in your home has allergies
- – If your family has pets
- – If your area has experienced wildfires recently
- – If you live in a particularly windy area
- – If you use your fireplace in the winter
- – If you have a large garden or live on a farm or ranch
- – If there is construction going on around or near your home
Protect Your Pipes from Bursting
If you live in an area where the temperatures are prone to dropping below freezing during the winter, you’ll want to protect your pipes from freezing over. When pipes freeze, they burst, which results in some serious plumbing issues that will cost you a pretty penny. Insulate your home’s pipes and add extra insulation to the basement, attic, garage, and any other vulnerable areas of the house.
Keep your home at a steady 55 degrees Fahrenheit even when you’re not there. At that temperature, your home is less likely to experience frozen pipes when the weather gets rough. If you are around when a freeze is imminent, turn your faucets on just enough to drip. The movement of the water keeps it from being stagnant in the pipes– the perfect condition for freezing.
You want to enjoy the season and all the fun things it brings– so don’t let winter home maintenance get you down. Completing small preparations before the busy season can help keep your family safe, save on energy bills, and prevent catastrophes like pipes bursting. Set your home up with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and check them to ensure they are working before the danger season gets in full swing. Replace your HVAC and furnace filters especially if you have pets, allergies, or live in an area where dust and debris are plentiful. Finally, protect your pipes from freezing weather with proper insulation and preparation.