The best time to undertake home winter maintenance projects is before the really cold weather sets in and certainly before the first big snowfall. With that being said, here are five maintenance tasks to take on for the winter:
Tune-up the Air Conditioning
Late fall or early winter is the ideal time to tune-up the air conditioning. Why? Because it’s not needed, so most major problems that are found won’t need to be considered an emergency. Even if the repairs are minor or only routine maintenance is needed, it is good for the homeowner’s peace of mind to know that the A/C will work when it is finally turned on in the summer. Some parts of air conditioning tune-up are:
- Checking the thermostat and making sure it’s level on the wall
- Cleaning or replacing the A/C filter
- Inspecting the unit’s electricity
- Inspecting valves and blades
- Checking the condenser and fan motor
- Checking the condenser coil
The homeowner can do some of this themselves, but better yet you can call a professional, such as those at Pacific Aire, Inc.
Clean Out the Gutters
It’s important that gutters be cleared of debris like old leaves and nests to lower the risk of ice dams. The weight of an ice dam can tear the gutter away from the house. Taking the time to clean out your gutters can definitely help make your home a safer place to be.
Watching The Trees
If snow falls on the tree branches, it should be brushed off as soon as possible. A broom will work if the branches are too high up. This is especially important if the tree branch is in danger of falling on the house. Be careful not to shake the tree to remove snow because this could snap a branch off. If a branch does fall, it needs to be moved right away.
Keeping Walkways and Steps Clear of Ice and Snow
Shovel or blow snow from walkways and lay materials such as wood ash, sand or eco-friendly snow and ice melt on slippery areas. Plant flags around slippery areas to alert visitors. If a homeowner goes on vacation during the winter, they should hire someone to shovel the snow and remove the ice.
Insulating the Pipes
The plumbing pipes need to be kept from freezing, especially ones in the unheated areas of the house. On especially cold nights it may be a good idea to leave faucets dripping just slightly as running water isn’t supposed to freeze. Don’t let the house go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and open the doors of under sink cabinets to let the warmer air circulate around the pipes.
Overall, there are tons of things you can do to help keep your home safe and maintained this winter. It may seem like a lot of work now, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.