Winter is in full swing, and the snow is flying. The house projects from summer are over, and everyone is settled into the freezing cold, snuggled by a fire with their hot cocoa. But… is your house prepared for the cold temps and weather that comes along with it? House maintenance and protection aren’t just something that you need to be doing during the warmer months. In fact, protecting your house is even MORE important in the cold months. While our main focus is house painting and roofing, we want to make sure your home is safe and protected. Read below for our top 9 tips for winterizing your house and making sure your investment is protected
Winter Maintenance Checklist – 9 Tips for Winter Home Maintenance
1. Set Your Fans To Reverse
All ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the fan direction. This will turn your fans clockwise and doing so will keep the hot air where you want it… down with you. This helps your heating system not work as hard since it’s not going to be heating the air above you. A simple switch will keep you warmer when the weather turns nasty. If you can’t find the switch, it might be inside the fan’s housing.
2. Weatherproof All Windows and Doors
Do you feel that breeze? If you’re in your house, you shouldn’t! If you have cracks or leaks in your doors and windows, it’s going to allow that cold winter air to get in. This drives up your heating bills! You should use weather stripping or caulk to stop those drafts and keep the warm air inside your house. This will make your bills lower and your house warmer, and is an easy winter home maintenance tip to complete on your own.
3. Check for A Cracked Water Heater Tank
If you’re seeing water leaks around your water heater, especially directly below your tank, you likely have a crack. This could be caused by a buildup of sediment in your water heater, rusting and corrosion or other issues as well. A cracked water heater will likely need to be replaced.
4. Get an Annual Fireplace Inspection and Chimney Sweep
A clogged chimney can cause house fire dangers, as well as lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide which can lead to poisoning and even death. A yearly chimney sweep and inspection will stop you from risking these conditions.
5. Clean Your Dryer Vent and Hose
This as well is for safety as well as for energy efficiency. Dryer vent fires are one of the most common causes for house fires. US firefighters respond to approximately 14,630 house fires caused by dryers every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. You can do this yourself, or if you’re not comfortable with it, you can have a professional do it for you. To prevent fire risk, you’ll want to empty or replace your dryer hose, clean your lint trap and regularly inspect your exhaust and vent.
6. Bring Your Outdoor Items Inside
Protecting your house also includes protecting your outdoor space. Any outdoor cooking items like grills or smokers should be brought inside, as well as any patio furniture or other outdoor living items. Bringing them into your garage or another protected space other than actually in your house works perfectly. Snow, wind hail and freezing rain can all rust and shorten the life of these items, so bringing them into your garage is the best idea. And if you’re like some Coloradans, you might still grill in the snow! In that case, make sure you have a good cover for the grill when it;s not in use.
7. Prevent Pipes From Freezing
This is a big one for winter home maintenance. A burst pipe is no fun for anyone and can cause serious damage to your home. Flooding, water damage and other headaches are all something that can be caused by burst pipes in your home, so it’s important to protect them from freezing to avoid this. You should wrap your pipes to insulate them, and make sure to always leave your heat on at least
8. Keep Your Heat On
Leaving your heat on, even when you’re out of town does multiple things. First, to help keep your bills lower, leaving the heat on low (we recommend 60 degrees) makes it easier for your house to heat up when you return. Secondly, it helps keep your pipes from freezing, as well as making any animals left at home more comfortable. This goes for house plants too! Leaving it set to 60 degrees will suffice.
9. Keep Your Gutters Cleaned Out
This is one of the least favorite tasks for most folks, but it’s important for multiple reasons. This will help reduce the risk of damage to your gutters, and also help prevent ice dams from occuring. It will remove unnecessary weight from your gutters, which is important when heavy icicles start forming. While this is typically a fall task, it’s important to check them again during winter.
If you follow these easy winter home maintenance tips, it will help keep your house protected, your energy costs lower and give you the peace of mind that your investment is well taken care of. If you have any questions about these tips or need help with any of them, we’d be happy to find someone to help you. While we don’t provide these services ourselves, we want to make sure everyone’s home is safe and sound. And if you’re in need of house painting services, we’d love to help! Give us a call at 720-370-3063 to see how we can help.