Temperatures have been cold across most of the country this month. You may be waiting until spring to tackle big home improvement projects, but here are some easy cold weather home maintenance tasks to consider. Many of these jobs can be done yourself, but in some cases you will want to enlist a professional’s help.
1. Check Your HVAC System
It’s a good idea to do some basic maintenance to help keep your heating system working at optimal capacity. Check your filters, and change them if they look dirty. Filters should be replaced at least every three months. It’s also a good idea to have your HVAC system cleaned and checked by your heating professional.
2. Fill Gaps Around Windows and Doors
Drafts around windows and doors can leave you feeling cold, and they could be wasting energy as your HVAC system works harder to warm that cool air. Apply caulk around the window trim to seal off any drafts. You can also install weatherstripping around edges of doors and windows to create a tight seal. Another DIY tip is to make a simple door draft blocker to help keep heat from escaping under your door.
Adding insulation can also lower your utility bill, make your home more environmentally friendly and ensure that you stay nice and toasty! Since heat rises, most of the heat loss in your home escapes through your roof. To fight the cold, add an extra layer of insulation in your attic. Consider adding layers of insulation in your basement or garage to prevent heat loss from these areas as well. You can also insulate your garage door for extra protection.
3. Test the Sump Pump
As water drains from under and around your home, your sump pump pushes it out of the house and away from the foundation. You can consult your sump pump’s owner’s manual and perform some basic maintenance and regular testing yourself. Also have a professional inspect your sump pump each year.
4. Inspect Your Chimney and Fireplace
If you want to enjoy a warm fire this winter, be sure to get your chimneys, vents and fireplace cleaned first. A professional chimney sweep can clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. If you have a gas fireplace, your chimney and flue should be inspected for any blockages. A professional will also inspect the gas lines and vents for leaks and can make necessary repairs.
6. Turn Off Outside Faucets
In cold weather, water in exterior pipes can freeze and cause pipes to burst. So, before the temperatures reach freezing disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets. If your exterior faucets have shutoff valves, turn them off. Then, release any water remaining in the pipe by opening and closing the outside tap. You can also help protect exterior faucets with an insulated cover.
These cold weather home maintenance tips will help keep your home warm and energy efficient this winter. If you need professional assistance, be sure and call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electrical at 1.800.461.3010.