Save Money and Keep your Home Cozy with These Home Maintenance Tips
Your home is your most precious investment and the best way to ensure its longevity is with regular maintenance. Ticking off your fall ‘to do’ list can help to avoid big-ticket costs and keep your home safe and cozy during the colder winter months. Here’s a convenient checklist of tasks to do before the first snowfall.
- Drain outside hoses before storing them. Empty water features and ponds and cover them for the winter.
- Insulate outside plumbing to prevent burst pipes.
- Remove fall leaves from your deck and stairs. When leaves are left on your deck, they retain water which could lead to mold and mildew which may rot your timber.
- Clean and repair your gutters and check the roof for loose shingles. When gutters are clogged, melting snow has nowhere to drain. When those pools of water freeze overnight, they expand and push up under the shingles. This phenomenon is known as an ice dam and these can cause damage to the roof and allow moisture in, which could result in mold.
- Perform routine maintenance on your furnace to keep it functioning optimally. Be sure to change your HVAC filter as you move into the winter months so your indoor air quality is healthy.
- Have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned and ensure that the damper is in good working order.
- Caulk any gaps and holes around windows, doors, plumbing and electrical openings.
- Dodge the draft this winter by making your own draft snakes (get the tutorial here) or by replacing the seals around doors which are letting cold air in.
- Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and replace the batteries.
- Walk around your home and check that the HVAC vents are unobstructed. Often furniture and other items end up blocking vents over the summer months.
- Inspect your HVAC ducting and seal any cracks or holes to increase the efficiency of your furnace.
- Take a look to see that your basement sump pump and discharge line are working properly.
- Store your air conditioner or cover it with a protective covering over the winter months.
- Stock up on snow shovels and de-icers. If you have a garden or pets, consideralternatives to salt for removing ice from walkways and stairs.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans. In the winter, your fans should run slowly in a clockwise direction. This will help to evenly distribute warm air so your home feels more comfortable.