Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, and we know that staying on top of seasonal maintenance can get overwhelming! Here’s a short and sweet overview (plus a few pro tips) of the basics to get ready for winter.
- Clean the gutters! This will help to preserve your walls, ceilings, and insulation. Preventing snow and ice buildup will reduce the potential for leaks! Gutter guards are also a great thing to consider - they’re generally pretty affordable, and they’ll reduce your amount of cleaning in the long term.
- Drain your hot water heater - this will help reduce sediment build-up to keep it running more efficiently.
- Clear the chimney (if you have one) to prevent fire hazards.
- Check for air leaks. Check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, and gas. If you have weatherstripping in place and suspect there may be an issue with it, try closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, the weatherstripping isn't properly sealing the opening.
- Flip ceiling fan switches. Use ceiling fans to reverse the airflow. In the summer, you want air blowing downward for a cooling effect. Reverse the fan in the winter so that it circulates the hot air around the room. Hot air rises and collects near the ceiling, so bring it down where people gather to keep your home warm and cozy through the winter. Simple and effective!
- Remember to humidify. Your skin and your plants will thank you! Without a humidifier, heated indoor air can cause dry skin and increase your susceptibility to colds. It can also make fine wood more prone to cracking. Humidifiers should be regularly cleaned, and often need filter changes to prevent mold and mildew. If you have a central humidifier, inspect the plates or pads, and if necessary, clean them in a strong laundry detergent solution. Rinse and scrape off mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool.
If you need a referral for a good inspector, cleaner, contractor, handyman or anything home-care related, reach out to us anytime - we'd love to help. Happy winterizing!