Getting your house ready for winter is an annual ritual for most homeowners. Did you know that insulating your attic before winter season hits will help to prevent the occurrence of ice dams? Moreover, tuning up your heating system will prevent you from making emergency repairs that are more expensive in the end.
Here are some important winter maintenance tips that you should know:
Your Heating System
Before you start checking your heating system this winter, you should do some preventative maintenance. Doing so might help you to extend the life of your heating system.
Before winter, you should do the following:
- Replace or clean your furnace filter on hot air systems
- Have a licensed HVAC contractor check your boiler or furnace
- Have your chimney checked at least once per year by a licensed technician and pay attention to creosote buildup on fireplace chimneys
During winter, you should:
- Set your heat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit because the air inside your walls is colder than the one in living spaces. To keep an even temperature all through the house, you should open all the doors even if some of the rooms are unoccupied.
- Maintain your pellet or wood-burning stoves as per the manufacturer’s instructions
- Fill your fuel tanks and watch their levels throughout the winter
Is your insulation ready to protect you from the cold? It is worth taking the time to check the insulation and upgrade it. Make sure that you start weather stripping before the cold season arrives.
- Add caulk around windows and weather stripping around your doors to guard against the loss of heat and to prevent drafts
- Add an extra layer of insulation in the attic to prevent ice dams. If heat ends up escaping to the attic, it will warm up the snow on your roof then cause an ice dam, which will result in water damage.
- Remove window screens and install storm windows when appropriate
Your home’s piping system can be damaged by freezing temperatures. You should check whether your pipes are ready to handle a cold snap and make sure that you take extra precautions if you are going away for the winter. For instance, you could turn off the water supply to prevent damage in your absence.
- Learn how to shut off the water and find out where your pipes are located in case they freeze. This can help you to prevent water damage
- Look for water leaks and repair small problems as soon as you spot them. If your piping is plastic, you should use thermostat-controlled heat tape and make sure that you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Safety Measures for Winter
As you prepare for winter, you should heed as many safety measures as possible to avoid problems. Here are some safety measures that will come in handy:
- Clear your gutters of sticks and leaves to ensure that melting snow can drain properly. Your downspouts should direct any water from your foundation instead of towards it.
- Make sure that you trim your trees to eliminate dead branches and limbs to avoid damaging your home or injuring other people.
- Check your fire alarms and smoke detectors then replace the batteries if necessary
Key Equipment and Supplies
You should stock up on generators and blowers to prevent problems later. According to the owner of Delsea termite & pest control, you should hire an exterminator to get rid of pests before winter season. Moreover, you should have roof rakes and snow shovels at the ready.