From icy driveways that keep you stuck indoors to cold wind seeping through door cracks, winter maintenance can be harsh on a home’s interior and exterior features. Keep your new home warm, cozy, and updated by following a solid winter home maintenance checklist before a big storm or frost hits your area. Stay safe at home with these tips!
Tune-Up Heating System
With your heating system working overdrive in the winter, you must ensure it stays in top condition to keep your family warm through the cold months. Schedule a professional heating system inspection to address any necessary damages or updates. Change your HVAC filter to avoid a clogged furnace and cold spots because of accumulated dust and debris.
Seal Windows and Doors
Leaks around the doors and windows in your home can cause heat loss and increase your energy bill. Follow these tips to make your home more energy efficient:
- Find leaks by using a candle or an electronic heat detector.
- Seal windows with plastic or an insulator kit.
- Stop leaks around doors with foam or weatherstripping.
- Add storm doors to the exterior doors you open daily.
- Replace or add caulk outside to windows, door frames, crevices, or any place where heat escapes. Make sure to choose an exterior cold-weather caulk that adjusts to temperature changes without cracking.
- Cover windows with heavier draperies or curtains.
- Hang fabric or towels over pet doors or mail slots.
Adjust Ceiling Fans
Turning your ceiling fan on during cold months may sound strange, but doing so helps distribute warm air throughout the rooms in your home. Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to achieve this winter hack! Most fans have a small switch on the side of the motor that makes this step easy. Remember to use a sturdy ladder or stool to reach the fan, and ask someone for help if needed.
Service Your Chimney
Lighting a fire in your fireplace is a great way to warm up your home and save on your electricity bill. However, a cozy, roaring fire can become hazardous without proper maintenance. Make sure your chimney is clean of soot, creosote, and debris. In addition to debris, small animals like raccoons, birds, and squirrels can also get trapped inside the chimney. If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure it’s safe to use this winter.
Keep Gutters Clean
Needing a new roof in the middle of winter is one of the worst emergency repairs a new homeowner can face. Freezing temperatures and unpredictable weather make home maintenance harder to complete at this time of year. To avoid any potential water leaks and roof damage from clogged gutters, remove leaves and debris to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage. Snow can block gutters and pull them away from the roof, while melting snow and ice can freeze, resulting in roof damage from water accumulation. Take care of your gutters beforehand to avoid a potential emergency.
Trim Trees and Cut Shrubs
A low-hanging branch busting your window or a rotten tree falling onto your roof can be the unexpected bill you didn’t see coming. Make sure to keep trees and branches trimmed – away from power lines and the roof. Remove leaves from lawn and flower beds to avoid build-up or if snow falls, making shoveling more difficult.
Add Insulation to Prevent Freezing
There are a few ways to prevent a pipe burst during the winter months. The easiest method is to leave it dripping so it doesn’t freeze. Another step is using tubular insulation to cover pipes in unheated areas of your home to prevent potential bursts. Make sure you take care of the exterior areas of your home as well by covering sprinkler spigots and draining garden hoses.
Check Winter Tools
As the popular saying goes, “Stay prepared so you don’t have to get prepared!” Before inclement weather warnings begin, ensure you have essentials like rock salt, shovels, and emergency supplies on hand. A case of batteries, flashlights, oil lamps, and a first aid kit should always be in your home in case of an electrical power outage or health crisis. Consider purchasing a portable generator if power outages are a concern or happen often in your area. To go the extra mile, keep an emergency kit and a warm blanket in your car if you need to evacuate your home or can’t get back to it because of weather delays.
Keep your home safe and sound by following this winter home maintenance checklist for homeowners! We also encourage you to share this blog with your family and friends, so they stay informed about what they can do to stay safe this season. Kerley Family Homes is dedicated to helping homeowners live well in their new homes all year long. Contact an agent today for a private tour of a new single-family home or townhome in metro Atlanta and learn more about our 2024 new home promotion!