8 Winter Maintenance Steps for Homeowners

Taking steps to properly maintain your home during the winter months will mean saving money on things like burst pipes and damaged roofs. Regular winter maintenance will also mean a more comfortable home and lower heating bills. Here are the eight most important winter maintenance tips.

Clean your Gutters and Vents

Fall leaves and other debris can clog gutters. When snow melts, it should be able to run down the gutters rather than down the walls where it can cause damage.

Check that furnace, gas, water heater and fireplace vents aren’t clogged with vegetation or snow. Blocked vents can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.

Trim the Trees

Cut away branches that are close to your home as winter snow can cause boughs to break. Cut out any old dead wood that could cause damage.

Fireplace Maintenance

Have your chimney cleaned to prevent chimney fires. Check that your flue seals properly to prevent the loss of conditioned indoor air. If you aren’t going to use your fireplace, use a flue blocker to ensure a good seal.

Ice Dams

Gaps in your attic insulation can allow warm indoor air to escape. This melts snow on the roof during the day. When you turn your heat down at nights or you turn your heat down, the melted snow will freeze and build up quickly and expand, pushing up under your roofing to cause leaks. Check your roof for ice dams regularly and inspect your insulation for leaks.

Check your Sump

Spring snow melt will saturate the ground and you want to make sure your sump pump is in good working order to prevent basement flooding.

Mind the Gap

Check the seals around doors and windows. Leaks here can increase your energy bills and lead to condensation which can result in mold and mildew.

Fill all gaps in your building envelope with caulk. Inspect plumbing and electrical openings and seal theses off. Not only do gaps in your envelope allow warm air to escape, they also allow critters in. Rodents and other animals can cause damage to your home as they nest for the winter.

Change your Filters

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how often to change your HVAC filters. This will improve your indoor air quality and the performance of your furnace. Check that the vents are clean and aren’t blocked by furniture. Your furnace will run more efficiently which saves you money.

Insulate your Pipes

A bust pipe can cause a lot of damage, so wrap your pipes in insulation this winter. Be sure to shut the water off to any outside taps and drain them to avoid frozen pipes which can burst.

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