Between crisp, cool mornings and chilly evenings, the start of winter presents a new set of challenges for home maintenance. The following tips will help make planning your winter home maintenance checklist a cinch!We’re here to help you keep your house in top shape as the temps begin to drop – inside and outside.
1. Prepare Your Backyard Pool
While you don’t exactly need to “winterize” your backyard pool in Florida, there are important steps you can take to keep your pool healthy during the offseason. For example, vacuum the bottom, empty filters, and remove any surface debris. Take adequate precautions against algae, which can still bloom during winter months.
2. Inspect and Insulate Doors and Windows
As much as 7 percent to 12 percent of a home’s heating loss occurs around windows and doors. Brrr! Before winter arrives, inspect your home’s openings to ensure that they are properly sealed, and replace worn weather stripping to prevent warm air from escaping.
3. Prepare Pipes for Freezing Weather
Frozen pipes are the second leading cause of home insurance claims in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute. If you live in those parts of Florida that experience colder weather, consider insulating exposed pipes to keep them from freezing and bursting.
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® recommends the following tips to prevent frozen pipes:
- Foam: Insulate outdoor pipes that are exposed to cold drafts.
- Dome: Install an insulating dome or cover on outdoor faucets and spigots to help prevent water inside the pipes from freezing or expanding.
- Drip: On those infrequent cold days, let your faucets drip to reduce the buildup of water pressure in the pipe.
4. Clear Dead Leaves and Brush
Considering we’ve had a more active than usual storm season, chances are your yard and gutters are due for a cleaning. Dedicate a Saturday afternoon to clear dead leaves or brush that have accumulated around the yard, in your gutters, and on your roof. For guidance about how to properly clean your gutters, check out our step-by-step gutter maintenance guide.
5. Reverse Ceiling Fans
Save up to 15 percent on your annual heating costs by reversing your ceiling fans to push warm air down during colder months. To do this, set your fan to spin clockwise at a low speed. Warm air near the ceiling will circulate throughout your home, reducing the need to use your thermostat.
6. Replace Air Filters
A dirty HVAC filter can cause your heating and cooling system to run inefficiently and drive up utility expenses. Prevent the buildup of dirt and dust and save money by inspecting air filters once a month and replacing them every three months, if not more frequently. Additionally, changing your HVAC filters will help improve the air quality inside your home.
7. Inspect the Attic
Do a close inspection of your attic for signs of water damage, infestation, or insulation problems that could cause serious damage to your home if left unfixed. It’s important to catch any potential issues early to prevent them from becoming a widespread problem.
By following this winter home maintenance checklist, you will be ready for a safe and festive winter.