Winter takes up 90 days of our calendar year. While this season offers a unique stark beauty, it also delivers harsh weather conditions that everybody should prepare for.
Failing to winterize your home can create three months of misery and even put your health at risk. Keep reading for a helpful home maintenance survival guide.
Change Your Batteries
As winter approaches, change the batteries in all of your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This can literally save your life. While these devices always play an important role in your home, winter carries in extra risks.
Holiday preparations and regular use of the oven increase the risk of a cooking fire. Warming your home with a wood-burning stove or fireplace also brings the potential for an accidental house fire.
Generators and home heating create a serious risk for silent but deadly carbon monoxide leaks. About 430 Americans die from CO poisoning each year, making working detectors imperative.
Maintain Your Furnace
Before temperatures plummet, test the igniter switch for your furnace. You may need to light the pilot after long periods of not heating the house. If you light the pilot and the heating does not come on, look for these signs that your furnace needs replacement.
If your furnace turns on, change the air filters and hire a professional to clean out the heat exchanger. This prolongs the shelflife of your HVAC system and prevents the circulation of dirty or toxic air throughout your home.
Clean Your Chimney
Before lighting your first chilly day fire for the year, call for home maintenance services to clean out your chimney flue. Residual carbon buildup creates toxic fumes. Also, birds and other critters tend to nest inside chimneys, creating a fire hazard if left alone.
Test Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps collect rainwater and send it away from the house. When temperatures rise after a big snowfall, the groundwater will quickly rise.
Without a fully functioning pump, water will remain and your basement will flood, creating water damage and conditions for dangerous mold growth. Test your sump pump regularly to prevent this.
To test it, fill it with a substantial amount of water so it raises the float and kicks on your pump. A working pump will create a humming noise and quickly drain the water.
Winterize Your Car
Cars create an extension of the home as your safe space to get where you need to go. As you prep, your home for the upcoming cold also works on winter car maintenance.
Get winter tires and check the pressure often to keep your car from losing control in the snow. Keep your gas tank full to keep meltwater from settling in your tank. For emergencies, keep blankets in your vehicle to keep you warm if the car breaks down.
Make Winter Home Maintenance a Priority
Do not overlook the importance of winter home maintenance. It will keep you warm and safe while reducing the risk of expensive disasters.
Are you looking for projects to improve on your winterized home? Read more on our home improvement page!