Temperatures are dropping and the calendar is flipping to its last page – winter is here! While you’re making your list and checking it twice, planning gifts and get-togethers for the busy holiday season, don’t forget that your home has a wish list of its own. Certain parts of your home require extra care and attention once the weather turns colder.
Here are six home maintenance tasks to check off your list for the winter:
Tip 1: Check for drafts
Cold air can be a big drain on your energy consumption – and your pocketbook. Keep your house warm and your utility bills low by checking for drafts around doors and windows. Replace worn-out weather stripping, and re-caulk as needed to create a tight seal.
Tip 2: Be fire smart
House fires are more common in the winter months than any other time of year. Simple precautions like checking batteries in smoke detectors and making sure your fire extinguisher s in working order can help you be prepared. If you have a fireplace, hire a professional to inspect and clean it before lighting the first cozy fire of the season.
Tip 3: Inspect the furnace
It’s recommended that you have your furnace professionally maintained every year to ensure it is running properly. This can seem like an added expense, but it’s better (and cheaper) to do it now than risking an issue during the middle of a winter storm, when you might have to wait days without heat for a technician to come out.
Tip 4: Clear out the clutter
Decluttering around the house can make a world of difference. Whether you’re planning to host holiday guests or need to make room for your holiday décor (or both, a clean and organized space will put your mind at ease. Get into the giving spirit by donating or selling unwanted items. Deep clean the areas you don’t typically get to (we’re looking at you, medicine cabinet and broom closet). A clean home is a happy home!
Tip 5: Stock up on cold weather supplies
It’s always smart to have a survival kit on hand, but check that you have what you need for the winter months, especially if the power goes out. Supplies like extra blankets, flash lights, batteries, water, and canned goods will have you prepared for even the worst winter conditions. Don’t have a generator? Consider adding one to your home – an automatic standby generator might even add to your home’s curb appeal.