Keeping your home well-maintained during the winter months will not only make it more comfortable to live in, but it will also help you avoid expensive repairs down the road.
1. Focus on Insulation
Many homeowners do not realize that there are actually dozens of different types of insulation. Not only is there a specific type of insulation for every area of your home, but insulation ratings actually change between states. Insulation throughout your home should be inspected at least once a year. Those that are not comfortable inspecting the insulation in their walls and ceiling should contact a local HVAC company to inquire about seasonal maintenance calls. Additional insulation will be needed if there are any visible signs of damage such as missing sections, mold, or flattened sections.
2. Don’t Neglect the Plumbing
Residential plumbing systems are designed to last for quite a few years, but they must also withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. During the colder winter months, many families will need to take a few steps in order to prevent their pipes from bursting or leaks from developing due to the temperature. Much like the HVAC system, your pipes should be inspected at least once a year by an experienced plumber. During this time, they might suggest making a few upgrades or changes such as lowering the temperature on your water heater or insulating your pipes. Depending on the layout of your home, insulating your pipes can be carried out in as little as an hour or two and reduce your energy bills by as much as four percent.
3. Service Your HVAC System
Servicing your HVAC system requires much more than inspecting your insulation and replacing it as needed. Modern HVAC systems are quite complex, and it doesn’t take much for your energy bills to skyrocket during the hottest and coldest months of the year. Most HVAC specialists suggest that these systems are inspected and serviced at least twice a year. As for winter maintenance, most homeowners will want to schedule an appointment at the start of fall. During these service calls, your HVAC technician will begin with a thorough inspection of the furnace, ducts, insulation, and vents. They will also be able to check the thermostat’s accuracy, top off fluids, and lube moving parts to prevent damage.
4. Protect Your Roof
Even minor issues with your roof can result in expensive damage after the first storm of the season. Not only should homeowners inspect their roof multiple times a year, but they should also take some time to inspect the rain gutters and downspouts as well. Rain gutters and downspouts should be free of any obstructions and able to transport rainwater far from the foundation of your home. Broken shingles should be replaced well before the first rainstorm, and the attic should be inspected for any signs of water damage from previous seasons.