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Home Maintenance Series: Winter

When winter comes, it’s time to hunker down and enjoy the warmth of our homes. There aren’t many projects you can take care of during this season, but you can do a few things to make sure you’re prepared for the snow and freezing temperatures.

Inside of Your Home

The first thing you’ll want to take care of inside is your heating system. Whether you have a furnace or boiler, it’ll be working hard over the next few months to keep you comfortable in harsh weather.

  • Check your filter: Furnace filters should be changed at least twice per year, but as often as once per month if necessary.
  • Look at water levels: If you have a boiler, be sure the water level isn’t low.

Next, you’ll want to give your water pipes some TLC to ensure they don’t freeze in colder temperatures.

  • Shut off and drain outdoor faucets
  • Insulate pipes if possible
  • On cold nights, leave cabinet doors with plumbing open to allow heat to reach them. You can also let the faucet drip on extremely harsh nights.
  • Keep the thermostat at a steady temperature (at least 55 degrees, even if you’re away for an extended time).

You may also want to prepare for winter emergencies.

  • Purchase a generator in case the power goes out.
  • Stock up on essentials, such as wood for the wood stove, a small space heater, gas for the snow blower, a radio, batteries, a first aid kit, canned food, bottled water, and essential medication.

Outside of Your Home

Outside, you’ll mostly just be taking care of snow removal. Make sure your snow blower is tuned and ready for the year, or that your trusty shovel is in good condition. Stock up on ice melt as well (and make sure it’s a pet-safe version if you have pups in your family).

You’ll also want to watch for ice dams, which can show as icicles or piles of ice near your gutters. Using a roof rake regularly can help prevent them from forming. And you’ll definitely want to keep ice dams away, since they often lead to water leaks and damaged home exteriors.

And that’s all for winter! Stay warm and cozy, and start planning for all of the projects you want to tackle in the Spring.

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