Even in South Carolina, the cold wintertime temperatures can lead to costly issues and repairs. Here are the top tasks you want to complete around your home for the winter to avoid any issues or major repairs.
1. Clean the gutters – If this sounds like a familiar task, it is! Gutters should be cleaned at least once per season to avoid clogs that can cause overflow and even break your gutters. A broken gutter can potentially damage your roof so keeping gutters clean is a must do every season. Be sure to use a hose to flush out smaller debris as it can also contribute to major build ups.
2. Clean your dryer vent – This task should be done at least two to three times per year. Clothes dryers cause over 15,000 home fires every year due to built up lint and other debris. First, get a dryer vent duct brush from your local hardware store. This can be used to clean deeper down into the lint trap farther than the catch screen goes and can clean the larger vent on the wall going to the outside. Make sure to clean out excess lint from both places. After you’ve reconnected the dryer vent, run the dryer for 20 minutes to blow any small bits you missed out to the outside.
3. Check your electrical system – Have your electrician come out to do an inspection and tune-up on your electrical system. With winter comes shorter days and longer use of electricity to light and heat our homes. Your electrician will check and test all components of your electrical system to ensure everything is in proper working order. The last thing you want on a cold night is an electrical problem taking down your HVAC or other appliances or systems.
4. Seal doors and windows – Check the seals on all of your doors and windows to be sure they are air-tight. If you close a piece of paper in the door or window, you should not be able to pull the paper out if it’s air-tight. If you find any windows or doors that aren’t air-tight, replace the weather stripping or reseal (depending on what is needed) to help avoid drafts and avoid higher utility bills due to heat loss.
5. Have an HVAC tune-up – If you haven’t already, now is the time to have your HVAC tune-up. Your HVAC technician will make sure everything is working properly and also maintain and lubricate all moving parts so your system runs as efficiently as possible. This will save energy and money on your monthly utility bill. Your technician will also look for evidence of wear and tear to help catch small problems before they become a major breakdown.
6. Weatherproof external plumbing – Any plumbing that is exposed to the cold temps either outside your home or in your garage should be insulated. Pre-cut foam insulation can be found at your local hardware store. Plumbing that goes directly to the outside should be closed off and drained before the cold temperatures hit to avoid frozen pipes. It might take a couple of days to fully drain. You’ll also want to make sure any space around this plumbing is sealed off to avoid heat loss and to prevent pest infestations.
Wintertime might seem like a time when you can rest easy on home maintenance tasks. Actually, wintertime is when certain home maintenance tasks are most important to help prevent electrical issues, HVAC breakdowns and potentially costly situations like frozen pipes. These quick 6 tasks will help you prep your home for the cooler winter temperatures.