Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Home Maintenance

This winter, create a cozy home environment in just one weekend.  Start by filling in any cracks around the windows with chalking and add a new piece of weather stripping around your front door.  Reduce drafts and heating bills by adding sheets of insulating plastic on windows and the attic door.   

To help ensure that you have heat during the deepest winter freeze, keep your furnace operating at peak efficiency by replacing or cleaning the air filters, according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Typically, this should be done each month during the winter.  If you have baseboard heaters, vacuum them to remove dust.  Chimneys should be cleaned periodically to remove creosote from the interior walls.  Creosote is a residue left from burning wood and is a potential fire hazard.  The safest way to clean your chimney is to hire a professional chimney sweep company.

Winter is also a good time to take steps to extend the life of your water heater.  Sediment can accumulate in the bottom of the tank eventually clogging the valves.  When this happens, pressure can build resulting in leaks.  Check your owners’ manual for instructions on how to drain the sediment making sure to avoid scalding yourself with hot water.

Outdoors, check your eaves troughs and remove leaves and other debris that can block proper drainage from your roof.  Ensure that your chimney flue and the exhaust grate are well ventilated.  Also, look for signs of damage to the siding; crevices are open invitations to mice and other animals seeking warm shelter for the winter so fill these openings with chalking until you can do a more thorough repair job in the spring.

With your home maintenance complete, enjoy another lovely Canadian winter!

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