October Item of Value – Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Fall is officially here. Before colder weather arrives, there are a few things you should do to prepare your home for the upcoming season. Taking these steps now can help ensure you’ll go through fall (and winter) without any problems.
Shut off outside water faucets. Close valves inside the house, then turn on the outside spigot to drain any remaining water from the line. Keep in mind some newer homes have a pin at the shut-off valve that must be opened to let air in the line, which helps keep pipes from freezing.
Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves, branches and other debris. Clogged gutters can cause water and ice to collect under your shingles, potentially damaging your roof. Clean any outside drains of leaves to prevent back-ups into your basement.
Change your furnace filter (or clean it, if washable) at least every two months. A clean filter helps keep utility bills low, limits dust and improves the efficiency of the furnace. Clear the area around your furnace, so air can better circulate and avoid a fire hazard.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and replace old batteries promptly. Each floor of your home should have detectors. Properties with gas heat or a wood-burning fireplace should also have a carbon monoxide detector.
Have your chimney professionally cleaned once a year, if you use it frequently. Dispose of ashes in a metal bucket, since warm ashes have the potential to start a fire.
Dennis Connelly, GRI, CRS