Just like we winterize our cars with new tires, a tune up and oil change, our homes need a winter tune up, too. Our homes are the largest investments we make, and keeping them in top shape keeps us comfy and our investment safe. Below are a few suggestions to keep your house warm and winter safe.
- Rev up your HVAC. Call your local HVAC professional to inspect your furnace or heat pump. The pro will check your system to make sure it is clean and in good repair, as well as monitor for carbon monoxide leakage. A quick tune-up can bring your furnace back up to manufacturer-rated efficiency.
- Reverse your ceiling fans. Check any ceiling fans in your home to see if they are rotation reversible. Running the fan blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat produces a downdraft that recirculates the heated air rising to the ceiling. You might be able to keep the heat turned down a couple of notches and save on your heating bill!
- Hit the roof. Damaged or loose shingles can happen in the winter months letting in leaks from storms or melting ice and snow. If you are not one for heights, try using a pair of binoculars to scan the roof. Don’t forget to check the flashing seals around vents and chimneys, too.
- Drain the main. Undrained exterior water pipes and lawn watering systems can freeze, causing cracked and burst pipes as ice expands. If your home is more than 10 years old, you may not have frost-proof faucets. Check with your water department or lawn sprinkler company to make sure the job is done right.
- Stock the essentials. Double check your cold-weather essentials regularly. Ice melt and other essentials can disappear quickly if the winter is a long one.
- Focus on insulation. Most insulation can be installed year around. Check with your local weatherization company or hardware store to see about getting your attic or basement insulation as soon as possible. Think of the savings on your heating bill!
- Check for fire safety. Make sure your fire extinguishers are charged to their full capacity, and double check the batteries in your smoke detectors. This is especially important if you have a fireplace in your home and around Christmas time.
- Clean those chimneys. Chimney fires account for 30 percent of home heating fires a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Even if you are super-efficient about your fall chimney sweeping, be sure to check your chimney and vents are clean and in good repair regularly during the winter months. Santa won’t be the only one who will appreciate it!
My hope for everyone is to have a safe and warm winter. I am sure there are a dozen more tune-ups out there any homeowner can think of to add to their list. If you would like to stop in and give me your ideas, or if you are looking for a cozy new home this winter contact Jacobson Realty and Home Staging to get the conversation started.
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