Winter is coming quickly, and that means it’s time to tackle a few chores around the house that will result in a warmer house that’s cheaper to heat and a safer family.
Some of the most important pre-winter tasks include insulating, ventilating, stocking up on supplies, and checking smoke alarms. This simple checklist will make sure you hit all the major maintenance items, and explain how your home and pocketbook will be better off after you take care of them.
A Winter Snow-Preparation Shopping List
There are a few things you'll need to be fully prepared for the ice and snow to come, including:
- Scrapers and brushes for your car.
- De-icing salt to keep your driveway, walkways, and sidewalks free of ice.
- Shovels to remove large quantities of snow.
- Kitty litter for the car in case you get stuck and need traction.
Keep Outdoor Vents Free of Winter Obstructions
Without dryer vents, kitchen range hoods, bathroom fans, and other exhaust vents and air intakes, your house would be a hermetically sealed box that never saw fresh air.
Luckily these vents allow moisture, which could build up and cause mold growth, to escape, and provide your house with fresh air. As long as the vents and intakes are clear of ice and snow, that is, so keep an eye on those throughout the winter.
Protect Your Pipes from Freezing Temperatures
Waterlines aren't exempt from the perils of winter, and if they get too cold they can freeze.
And not only do frozen pipes mean no running water, but they're also a risk for bursting and flooding your house.
To prevent this, insulate the pipes with foam sleeves to keep them warm, and thus, conserving your entire plumbing system.
Take Steps to Reduce Drafts in the House
Drafts can be a major killer in winter, because they make your house colder, force your furnace to work harder and cost you money.
Fortunately, there are some simple winter maintenance checklist items that will address drafts, including weather stripping and plastic installation.
For the weather stripping, install it around doors, vents, windows, gas lines, and anywhere else that cold air might be getting in. For the plastic, buy a roll of heavy duty plastic sheeting and use it to cover drafty old windows.
Call in a Virginia Beach Professional for an Annual Inspection
Like many things around the house, your HVAC system needs some regular TLC, including an annual inspection by a professional who can diagnose and fix problems like leaks.
Not only will this keep your house warmer by improving the efficiency of your furnace, but it may also help to improve ventilation in your house.
Expert air quality tip: To keep your furnace in tip-top shape and the air quality in your house high, replace or clean your furnace filters every one to three months.
Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector Maintenance
These home safety devices keep your family safe, and they don’t ask for much in return. However, there is regular maintenance you should perform, especially before the winter.
For one, change out the batteries, especially if it’s been a year or more since you did it last. Second, give them a once-over with the vacuum to remove dust, cobwebs, and dirt.
Finally, test them to make sure they're working, and do this again every month. As you can see, the winter maintenance checklist isn't very long, and it doesn’t require a lot of time, money, or effort to accomplish.
But no matter how small the list and how quickly you can check off the items on it, you'll still save money on your heating bills, keep your house more comfortable, and keep your family safer by tackling the list.