Whether or not we experience another polar vortex this year, winter still promises to get plenty cold. While it is still warm enough to get out without too many layers take an hour or so to get your house ready for the season. Here are a few simple winter home maintenance tips that will save you dollars off of your heating bill, eliminate the aggravation (and potential cost) of dealing with burst pipes and ensure that your home stays warm and toasty through the long winter months.
- Check your weatherstripping: If you can see that little ray of light at the corners of your front door or it feels like winter’s winds are whistling through your home then you probably need to repair or replace the weatherstrip around your windows and doors. Your local hardware store should have everything you need to seal the little nooks and crannies that allow your precious (and expensive) warm air to escape. Be sure to check all of your windows and doors, and make sure the windows are locked tight to provide a good seal. Also, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure the damper is closed securely when not in use.
- Winterize your hose bibs: Broken pipes and leaks from hose bibs that are not turned off or improperly winterized are a common occurrence. If your hose bib has a shut off valve then we recommend that you shut it off and drain the line (even with frost free bibs) when the temperatures start to drop. To do this properly, make sure you open the outside bib and then drain the line from the bleeder cap on the shut off valve. Even if you shut off the water, the failure to drain the line properly can lead to a rupture that will present itself when you turn the water back on in the spring. If you do not have a shut off valve, purchase a hose bib cover from the hardware store. Finally, make sure you disconnect all hoses from the outside bibs.
- Schedule your HVAC service: There is nothing worse than losing your heat in the middle of a bitter cold spell, which of course is when it always happens! If you do not have a maintenance contract with a certified HVAC company, you should consider getting one. They will check for issues that could lead to outages and will also give you preferred treatment in the event an outage occurs. At a minimum, make sure your filters are clean so that your furnace can operate efficiently. If you do have an HVAC contract be sure to contact them NOW to schedule your heating tune up so that you are ready for the winter months.
As always, if you don’t have the time or energy for these seasonal home maintenance tasks you can contact Hassle Free Home Services to take care of all your home maintenance needs.