With the cooler weather upon us, we would like to share with you a few recommended maintenance tips in order to keep your home as safe and comfortable as possible during the winter season.

Remove all hoses and attachments from your exterior faucets: leaving your hoses or attachments connected during the colder months will cause the water to freeze and consequently split the faucet open and water damage may occur.

Check your furnace: if you haven’t already, give your furnace a test run and make sure everything is working properly before cold weather arrives. For new homes that have not been through a heating season, you may experience a “burn off” smell.  This is natural for first time start up of a new furnace.

Don’t forget to check your furnace filter EVERY month: it is recommended to change your filter based on brand purchased. Cheaper filters should be changed monthly. High quality (thicker) filters can last up to 5-6 months.

If you have a wood burning fireplace,remember to open your flue and fresh air intake prior to igniting a fire. Preheat or warm the flue to aid in proper drafting first.

Do not warm up automobiles inside of the garage: dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up and enter your home even if your door is open. Warming up cars also wastes gasoline and it’s not needed in most modern vehicles.

Replace all batteries in smoke detectors throughout entire home. Most use nine-volt batteries.

As the air in the winter season becomes dry, all wood products in your home will tend to contract (shrink). Proper use of humidifiers can lessen the potential for gapping in hardwood floors and movement of doors / trim. Turn on your humidifier today and adjust as needed throughout the winter season.

Be sure to read your humidifier manual and remember to:

      • Set humidity starting at 35% (adjust down as needed).
      • Turn on water line to humidifier.
      • Open damper on humidifier to “winter” position.
      • Change humidifier filter (this should be done every year).

Utilize floor/wall registers throughout house and dampers on the duct-work in your basement to regulate the desired air flow throughout your home. Remember, hot air rises and cold air falls.  The second floor may tend to be a couple of degrees warmer than the first floor (winter season), but can be adjusted to meet your comfort level.

Double check all windows are locked and sealed tightly to help prevent heat loss.

Remove all window screens from home to help prevent wear and tear in the off season.

Clean all gutters to remove leaves and debris: clogged gutters and downspouts can cause ice damming.

Blow out/drain all lawn irrigation systems: turn off water and controls. Contact your irrigation company if you aren’t sure how to properly do this.

Turn off electrical breaker to Air Conditioning units to prevent accidental start up during freezing temperatures.