Preparing Your Home for Winter
Routine home maintenance probably isn’t at the top of many homeowners’ lists this holiday season. However, to increase the likelihood of a warm and safe winter, it’s important to make sure certain parts of your home – such as your furnace, chimney, and hot water heater – have received the attention they need.
Furnace. Furnace inspections should be scheduled with a reputable company before icy-cold conditions set in. A trained technician will turn on the furnace to make sure it’s drafting properly. He or she will also check safety devices and the integrity of the heat exchanger, among other things. While this type of service appointment takes only about 30 to 45 minutes on average, it’s in your best interest to schedule it sooner rather than later in the season, just in case the inspection reveals the need for repairs.
Chimney. Chimney inspections and cleanings should also be a priority at this time. Properly maintaining this part of the home can make the difference between a cozy night in front of the fire and a dangerous situation. Creosote buildup in the firebox and the flue can be extremely flammable, and fires that start there burn quickly and very hotly. A chimney service appointment should include a cleaning as well as a thorough inspection of the flue.
Hot water heater. A quick check of the home’s hot water heater is another pre-winter task experts recommend. Annually draining the water heater to rid it of sediment buildup can ensure the maximum amount of hot water keeps circulating through the home, which in turn helps get those chilly mornings off to a warm start throughout the winter season.
An ounce of prevention now can head off significant frustration later, so homeowners should make sure that their holiday-season checklist includes necessary home maintenance and inspections by reputable contractors.