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Guest Post by David Rodriguez
Preparing your home for winter is an imperative annual task for homeowners. For example, did you realize that adding insulation in your attic can prevent ice dams this winter? Tuning up your heating systems today can prevent costly emergency fixes during a winter storm when it’s tough to find supplies and professional workers. The following winter maintenance tips can help you set up your home to withstand another winter season.
Tip #1: Check your heating systems before and during winter
Before winter: Have your heater, furnace, or boiler checked and repaired by a licensed service expert at least once every year, ideally before the heating season starts. Replace and clean up the furnace filters on forced hot air systems. Have your chimney checked and serviced annually.
During winter: Have your fuel tanks filled and watch their levels throughout the winter. Set your temperatures no lower than 55 degrees (the temperature inside the walls, where water piping is found, is colder than the living spaces). Open the doors of unoccupied rooms to keep an even temperature all through the house. Maintain your wood-burning or pellet stoves as indicated by the manufacturer's guidelines.
Tip #2: Clean the gutters
If your gutters are brimming with debris, water can clog up against the house and harm roofing, siding and wood trim, causing leakage and ice dams. Typically, you will pay $70 to $225 to clean gutters on a single story house. Search for missing or damaged gutters and fix them as early as possible.
Tip#3: Turn off outside faucets
Undrained water in channels can freeze, which will make pipes burst as ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden pipe channels and draining water remaining in faucets. If you don't have frost-proof pipes and faucets, turn off the shut-off valve inside your house.
Tip#4: Check your insulation
Is your insulation prepared to shield you from the cold? As an important line of defense from winter's windy breezes and frigid temperatures, it is worth assessing, inspecting, and upgrading insulation and weather stripping before the winter season begins.
Add some extra insulation in the attic to prevent ice dams. If an excess of heat escapes into the upper room, it can warm the ice and snow on the rooftop. When it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, which can cause water damage inside your home or perhaps even a rooftop collapse. Add weatherstripping around doors and caulk windows to safeguard against drafts and heat loss. Remove screens from windows and place an appropriate storm window.
Tip#5: Reverse your ceiling fans
If your roof/ ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Expert says that the fan will create an updraft and push down heated air into the room from the ceiling. This is particularly useful in rooms with high roofs, and you may be able to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
Winter safety measures
As you plan for winter, follow these important safety measures:
- Keep gutters clear of leaves, sticks and different debris to help ensure the melting snow can drain appropriately. Ensure that the downspouts direct water far from the foundation.
- Trim the trees and cut off dead branches so they don't harm your home or injure anyone if they fall due to ice, snow, or wind.
- Repair steps and handrails to make them more secure in the ice and snow.
- Check smoke detectors, fire alerts, and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries to guarantee they are working appropriately.
- Be prepared with key equipment like snow blowers and generators. Keep them in good working condition so that you can be prepared to enjoy the upcoming season.
Maintaining your home is important. Winter is also an ideal opportunity to inspect the interior of your home and check for any small repairs or appliances that aren’t working well. Consider contacting your home warranty provider to perform any needed repairs. Keeping your home well-maintained and protected is always time well spent.
David Rodriguez is a writer living in Texas and currently working for EverythingBreaks.com, a Consumer Electronic Warranty Provider. He is very passionate about his work. As a fan of technology, travel, and programming, he likes to write on various topics.