The winter season brings many things to look forward to, from spending time with family during the holidays to enjoying winter sports activities in the great outdoors of Southern Utah. With the colder temperatures comes the need for a few maintenance activities to help keep your home running at its best. Make sure to set aside some time to take care of these winter home maintenance items to ensure your winter and holiday season aren’t ruined by a home disaster.
- Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season. With a ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.
- After consulting your water heater owner’s manual, drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of water heater to control sediment and maintain efficiency.
- Clean humidifier two or three times during the winter season.
- Vacuum bathroom fan grille.
- Vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning properly.
- Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, and empty and clean drip trays.
- Check the gauge on all fire extinguishers; recharge or replace if necessary.
- Check fire escape routes, including door and window locks and hardware; ensure you have adequate lighting in these areas.
- Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary.
- Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels and take corrective action where necessary. One thing to watch for is condensation on your windows – this can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems.
- Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.
- If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub, or shower stall, run some water briefly to keep water in the trap.
- Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
- Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
- Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.
- Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles. If there is excessive frost or staining of the underside of your roof, or ice dams on the roof surface, consult a building professional.
- Check electrical cords, plugs, and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety; if worn or if plugs or cords feel warm to the touch, replace immediately.
Tip from C.R.I.: Do you feel a draft in certain areas of your home but can’t figure out the source of the cold air? Are your utility bills higher than you think they should be? Heat loss can account for up to 50 percent of your total energy consumption. A thermography scan can diagnose defects in your home and help you determine a course of action for correcting them. To learn more, visit http://homeinspectionstgeorge.com/certified-thermography/