Winterize Before the Snow Flies !!!
Have Your Heating System Serviced and Your Chimney Sweeped
If you didn’t have your heating system serviced in the fall, there’s no better time than the present to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. Creosote buildup found in poorly maintained chimneys is a leading cause of dangerous house fires. If it’s been a while since you checked it, you owe it to your family and your guests to get the chimney cleaned.
Seal Door and Window Drafts
Caulking, sealing and weather-stripping window and doors is an inexpensive and an effective way to improve your home’s overall comfort level and energy efficiency; be sure to seal things up before your guests arrive.
Sidewalk Safety, and in many towns – the law
Check Snow Shovel and Snow Blower Status and on-hand Salt for walk ways —if you live in a cold climate where snow is likely, be sure you are prepared.
Travelling for the holidays? If your house is idle for an extended period of time, consider these helpful home hints:
Insulate your pipes and Seal Windows and Doors
Coming home to busted or frozen pipes tops the list of cold weather homeowner nightmares. Leave the furnace on at a lower temperature while you’re gone. If your pipes have a history of freezing, consider insulating them against the cold or installing heat tape that a friend or neighbor can plug in if a serious cold spell hits while you’re away. Remember, the less your furnace has to run while you’re away, the lower that January utility bill is going to be.
Unplug Christmas Lights and Unnecessary Appliances
Leaving unused appliances plugged in while you’re away isn’t just a fire hazard, it’s costing you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s EERE website, the phantom loads created by unused, but plugged in, electrical appliances can account for as much as 10% of your monthly utility bill.
Install a Security System
Before you leave your home, consider installing a security system to protect your belongings. Remote monitored systems are ideal, though it’s a proven fact that the presence of any security system is often enough to deter a thief. At the very least, make sure that you hold your mail and newspaper deliveries, and consider purchasing an inexpensive light timer at your local hardware store to give the impression that somebody’s still at home.
Arrange to Have Your Walks Shoveled if Needed
Most municipalities have laws in the books that require homeowners to shovel their walks within 24 hours of a major snowfall. If you are taking a vacation and there’s a chance of bad weather, make sure that a friend or neighbor has your walks covered so that a nasty fine isn’t waiting for you when you get home.
Don’t let the holidays catch you off guard or get overwhelmed. Hire helpers when needed and keep in mind amidst all the hub bub, crowds and celebrations that our homes need attention too!
Hire a Cleaning Service
Got guests coming? You’ll probably want to add cleaning the oven, refrigerator, dusting off the ceiling fans and baseboards, waxing, cleaning the windows (outside as weather permits), spit polishing bathroom tiles and fixtures and vacuuming behind the couch into the mix. Set a date just before your company is going to arrive to hire a professional cleaning service to come in and knock all those dreaded cleaning chores off your to-do list.
Holidays, guests, open houses, travelling, parties and get togethers all running in to each other and winter’s worst weather just waiting to strike! Think ahead and be prepared to enjoy all your activities!