Here are some things you should be doing to your home and yard before the snow fly’s! Doing home maintenance to your home can save you some cold hard cash and hopefully keep you from having to call a repair person this winter.
Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Replace smoke alarms and not just the batteries. You should always change the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year, but did you know that after 10 years you should replace the entire smoke alarm unit? Like many devices, smoke alarms can stop working. Keep your family safe by following the manufacturer’s instructions on when to replace your smoke alarm.
Several times a year you should drain the sediment from your water heater. Calcium carbonate and other minerals are produced when the water is heated. This sediment falls to the bottom of the tan and builds up overtime. If the sediment accumulates it can harden, possibly causing the water heater to overheat and it may even explode.
Dryer Lint Vents and Ducts
Clean the lint from your dryer vents. Lint collects in more places than just the dryer vent. As it collects in the ducts and vents it can block air flow causing the motor to overheat and start a fire.
Change your furnace filters. replacing your furnace filters monthly can help save you money on your heating and cooling bills. get a tune up for your furnace. yearly maintenance can reduce your energy use.
Lower your thermostat or install a programmable thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat you can save 1 to 3% on heating bills. Programmable thermostats cost as little as $50 and can save you on average $180 per year in heating costs.
Test run your furnace before heating season begins, you don’t want to find out it’s not working properly when the temperature hits -20 degrees outside.
Make sure your vents are not blocked so heat can circulate freely and keep your home warm and cozy. Consider having someone calk the seams and joints where the duct work is connected to prevent air from escaping out causing heat loss.
Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks
You can purchase an inexpensive test badge or an alarm that will monitor for carbon monoxide on a regular basis. (Having one may qualify you for a discount on your home owner’s insurance policy)
Clean the air conditioning condensing coils and fan blades of debris with a hose. Covering the AC unit to protect it from the snow in the winter will prolong the life of the unit.
Remover your window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter. If storing it is not an option, close the vents and cover the unit on the outside of the window to keep the condensing unit free of dirt, debris and snow.
Consider putting plastic on your windows to keep cold air out. Put caulk around the window and door frames where the window frame meets the drywall to seal up air leaks.
Water Pipes and Water Heater
By insulating your water pipes and your water heater, you will lessen the chance of frozen pipes and pay less for hot water. You can purchase foam pipe insulation at the local hardware store. Putting a water heater blanket on the water heater tank will help keep the heat in the tank and make it work more efficiently.
Outdoor Fall Home Maintenance Tips
- Turn off the water to exterior faucets. Disconnect and drain garden hoses for winter storage.
- Clean the gutters and downspouts of any wet leaves. This will help prevent those dreaded ice dams!
- Winterize your Sprinkler System:Turn off the water supply and blow compressed air through the lines to remove any water from them. This will prevent the pipes from freezing and bu
- Cover and put away patio furniture.
- Put a fresh coat of sealer on the deck to protect it from the snow.
- Drain the mower’s gas tank or let it run out of gas.
- Drain water fountains, unplug the pumps and prepare them for winter per the instructions in the owners’ manual.
- By being proactive on the maintenance of the mechanical systems in your home you are also preventing the chance of having to make a claim with your home owners’ policy and this can help keep your insurance rates down.
Contact your agent at Insurance Advisors, Inc to find out what you can do to keep your insurance rates down.