As we all collectively lay back and finish digesting the big meal from the Thanksgiving holiday this week and enjoy our time with friends and family, we may be reflecting on the year we’re in as well as the pending new year ahead. Holiday season is officially upon us and hopefully many happy gatherings lay ahead which means a lot of chances to open our homes and hearts to loved ones. Part of this includes deep cleaning the house and getting ready for the holidays as well as colder weather. While winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, this is the ideal time to get your house and yard ready for winter. Below are some practical tips I recommend:
1. Get a snow plan
We’ve had a few snow showers so far this year and no doubt we will have much more as the season really gets underway. Do you like to send the kids outside to shovel snow? Or maybe you have a brand new snowblower that you can’t wait to use for the first time this season? And it’s perfectly acceptable if you’d rather pay a professional service to come and take care of the snow for you. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a plan to take care of snow so that your friends and family don’t have issues coming into your home. Watch out for icy steps!
2. Clean the fireplace
Few things are as comforting and iconic as enjoying a hot drink next to a roaring fireplace in the winter. If you have a fireplace, you may want to invest in getting your chimney inspected. At the very least, make sure your fireplace flue is clean and open. And of course, make sure you have plenty of wood if your fireplace is wood burning.
3. Clear your gutters
If you have old leaves in your gutter, melted snow may not properly drain off your room and that can cause a real problem. It may not be the most fun way to spend a weekend afternoon but cleaning the gutters is a must. If you don’t feel comfortable on a ladder, there are services you can hire who can help.
4. Furnace and filters
It’s a real party-ender to be in a cold house because the furnace has stopped working due to neglected maintenance. Make sure you keep up with yearly inspections for your HVAC system and get small issues addressed before they turn to big ones. If you do need work done, it may be a good idea to shop around and get a few quotes. I can give you some great referrals. If your furnace is doing well, make sure you have a new filter that you’ve recently replaced.
5. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
With the oven on more often, space heater usage and fireplaces, it’s important to make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have been tested, up to code and are operating with fresh batteries. It’s easy to test them with the button on the outside of the unit to make sure it is still working and doesn’t need new batteries.
This can be a practice you can use throughout your home. You can insulate windows with specialty plastic to keep heat in and cold out. If cold is creeping into your window, you may also want to re-caulk the space around the window. If you have an attic or basement, insulation can be installed by you or by a professional. You may also want to insulate pipes, even inside the house, if appropriate. If you’re not sure, you can always ask a handyman or local hardware store on best practices.
Do you have concerns or questions about winter home maintenance? Are you in the market to buy or sell your home? Call and text me at (720) 323-4176 or email me at [email protected]