The winters are usually a time for merrymaking, as well as spreading love, peace, and joy all around, but it can also cost your house plenty of repair costs too. Things like tree limbs fallen from strong winds and drafts, frozen pipes or even ice dams are going to take a huge bite out of your wallet. That’s why you need to take preventive measures to prevent an expensive damage control job.
Here are some of the finest winter home maintenance tips that will save you big till spring:
Inspect Your Heating System
Before you can make use of your heating system for the winters, it would be best to do a preemptive checkup to ensure it doesn’t give out during the harsh cold season.
With that in mind, please get a contractor to inspect your heating system at least once a year, hopefully before the drafts begin. On forced hot air systems, the furnace filter needs to be replaced. Also, be sure to have a contractor check and service your chimney once yearly. Be especially sure to have creosote buildup cleaned as well.
Get the fuel tanks of your heating system filled up and always check up on the levels throughout the season. Make sure the temperature is set to at least 55 degrees since temperatures within walls where water piping is, tend to be cooler than living rooms. Be sure to open the door to every room in the house so that temperatures are even all throughout. Also, ensure that you maintain your pellet or wood-burning stove according to the product manual.
Protect Entryway Flooring
Entryway flooring can take plenty of abuse during winter in the form of tracked-in ice, snow, sand and road salt. Fortunately, there is a way for you to help it persevere by introducing floor mats, both on the inside and out. You should also have a brush and a boot scraper placed outside to remove excess snow, as well as a waterproof tray inside your house to place your wet boots and shoes.
Inspect Drainage and Gutters
This is a good one for our winter home maintenance list. Cleaning out the gutters, especially during winters may not be fun for many homeowners, but it will end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
If you don’t care for your gutters, you may end up replacing them and deal with potential roof damage as well. The reason why this is the case is that clogged gutters will overflow and eventually break, which also puts immense strain on the roof. What’s more, is that when the drainage is filled with ice, it leads to thawing damage that will also strain the guttering.
To fix this problem, set up a ladder firmly against the side of your house. You’d want someone to hold the ladder in place. Then use a small shovel to scoop the dirt out and toss it into tarp or a bin bag. Then use a hose to completely flush out the gutters.
Reverse Your Ceiling fan
Here are another winter home maintenance and money-saving trick that you might not have known of – flipping your fan in reverse, according to the host of Million Dollar Contractor, Stephen Fanuka.
This helps prevent the warm air in your room from getting off the ground. You won’t even have to rely on your heating system for this, which is where the money-saving part comes into play. You can do this with a switch that comes with most fans these days. And if the switch isn’t on the outside, then it must be on the inside.
Inspect High Water Pressure or Wreck Appliances and Fixtures
High water pressure can rupture pipes, appliances, and connections. If it persists, it may even end up forming a water hammer, thereby wasting water in droves.
This can be the case with appliances like water softeners with old pressure-reducing valves that may fail at keeping water pressure at optimal levels. You can easily buy a proper pressure-reducing valve and a pressure gauge from your local home center and install it to a laundry tub faucet or a spigot. Check out some more water softener maintenance tips here.
Test Your Sump Pump
One of the most crucial items on our winter home maintenance checklist is inspecting your sump pump. These appliances are what prevent condensation buildup, water, and floods from drains. You’ll want to check up on it to see if it works, especially before winter comes around. If you skip out on this, you may end up with foundation damage or even a flooded basement.
Just pour water by only a few gallons into the pit to ensure your pump turns on. A sump pump is supposed to last for about 10 years, so be sure yours does the same, especially with this tip.
Maintaining adequate insulation is one of the most essential winter maintenance tips for your home. This is so your house can keep you warm for the winter and cool in the summer. Without proper insulation, your heating system will be doing all the work, and charge you a pretty heavy penny out of it. But if you were to add proper insulation to your walls, attic, and crawlspace, you need not break the bank in the process.
Get a Humidifier
If you don’t have one already, we suggest investing in a whole-house humidifier. And if you do have one, then make sure the drain line is clean. Also be sure to replace its media panel, which is what mixes hot airflow from the furnace with water. You must do this twice every season. Lastly, check the humidifier’s fan and make sure the solenoid valve is properly working.