Winter Home Maintenance

Winter Home Maintenance

Posted 12/08/2016

While it’s likely that snowflakes or icicles won’t show up on our forecast over the holidays, winters in the desert can be harsh and unforgiving. With temperatures often dropping below 32 degrees, it’s so important to protect your home from the winter cold before the first freeze arrives.

Here are a few home-maintenance tips to help you prepare your home for the chilly season ahead:

Don’t get hosed: One of the first things you should do when winterizing your home is remove your garden hoses from any outdoor faucets. This will prevent water from backing up into your plumbing pipes just beyond the exterior walls. If left on during a freeze, that water could freeze itself and expand and crack the pipes.

Seal it Off: Preventing moisture from entering your walls is one of the least expensive – yet most critical – things you can do to winterize your home. Simply purchase a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and tour your home’s perimeter, sealing up cracks around the window and door frames, between the trim and siding along the walls, and around the areas where pipes and wires enter the home. Doing this will also prevent air leaks, helping you conserve energy.

Check your Furnace: Be sure to change your furnace filters, something you should do every couple of months, anyway. A clogged filter can put extra stress on your HVAC system, shortening its life and sending your energy bill through the roof. You should also schedule an appointment with an HVAC pro to tune up your system. It usually costs less than $100, but can ensure your system will run properly throughout the season, increasing its efficiency and saving you serious energy costs.

Freshen up the Fireplace: Before you spark up the logs this season, make sure your fireplace is properly swept. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year at the beginning of each winter season to ensure the removal of all soot and debris. Not sure where to start? The Chimney Safety Institute of America makes it easy to find a professional in your area. Also, don’t forget to check your chimney for structural damage, including cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar – all of which can compromise the safety and efficiency of your chimney.