Friday, November 29, 2013

Winter Home Maintenance for Your New Home

Winter is here before you know it. You might notice a drop in temperature and are now enjoying your warm, cozy home. Make sure you follow a maintenance schedule throughout the year to avoid the threats of winter weather. Here are some guidelines for a well-maintained home:
Be energy efficient
Your heating system will be constantly running during winter. Remember to change out your HVAC filters monthly. Inspect the insulation in your attic and crawlspace as warm air leaves the house through the roof. .
Don’t have double-paned windows? No problem. You can install storm windows to ensure that the heat stays in and the cold stays out. Select a plastic film sheet kit that suits your budget. 
Another way to save on energy costs is burning firewood. You can reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox or slightly open the nearest window. As a safety precaution, store your firewood in a dry place.
Protect your pipes
Pipes are at risk to freezing in extreme temperatures. Let water drip from hot and cold faucets and allow warm air to circulate; for exposed pipes, add extra insulation. 

Prepare for emergencies
Blackouts and snow-ins are just some of the common winter problems in your home. Keep flashlights, bottled water, nonperishable food items, blankets, contact numbers of handyman and utility companies, backup battery, and first aid kit. Make sure your emergency generator have gasoline stored. 
Holiday Decorations
While this is the season to be festive, make sure all wires of your Christmas lights are safe and doesn't pose an electrical fire hazard. If you have a real Christmas tree outside, check the light strands for any sign of wear-and-tear. Use non-combustible materials to trim a tree. Don't forget to turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could start a fire when they short out.
Yard Maintenance
Your yard and sidewalks need maintenance, too. Keep tree and shrub branches away from your house and windows. If you have a pool, invest in pool covers. Get a snow blower or a good ol' shovel to remove that extra snow in your yard and driveways, or you can hire someone to plow it out for you. Inspect your roof to see if any ice dams have formed and call a contractor immediately.
Got some home maintenance tips to keep your holidays safe and merry? Share it with us! 
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