With fluctuating storms and dramatic shifts in weather, winters in Texas can be a notoriously unpredictable time of the year for homeowners. Throughout the winter season, it can often feel challenging for homeowners to understand the steps they can make to prepare, protect, and maintain their home. Proper maintenance and extra steps towards weatherproofing and maintaining your home throughout the winter not only helps you enjoy a stress-free season, it can also play a large role in a more energy efficient home, saving you time and money.
Here are eight tips to help you prepare your home and keep it in perfect condition this winter.
With an average of nearly 15,000 home dryer fires reported every year, proper dryer maintenance is extremely important for your family’s safety. Not only is a clogged dryer vent dangerous, it can also cost you money, raising your utility bills and negatively impacting your dryer’s long-term performance. This season take a moment to thoroughly clean out your dryer’s lint trap, outdoor vent cap, and empty your dryer hose.
Keep your hot water heater in perfect shape during the winter season. Flush your hot water tank annually to remove any sediment build up and extend the life of your tank. If your water heater is older, you can also wrap your tank with an insulating blanket to conserve energy and prevent your tank from losing too much heat in cold rooms and garages.
Storms are a common occurrence throughout the winter, and with this weather comes debris. Clogged gutters or drainage issues put your home at high risk of overflow and roof damage. Ensure that you are taking the time to clean out and maintain your gutters this season to reduce your risk of damage and leaks.
One of the most important components to keeping your home warm throughout the winter is proper insulation. With limited or subpar insulation, you may notice higher energy bills and a colder home due to your home’s heat escaping. Take the time to inspect your home’s attic, looking for insulation wear and tear, compaction, or damage. If you find that your protection needs improvement, roll sheets of new unbacked insulation between your attic’s floor joists to help your home retain heat.
While it is important to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month, winter is the perfect time of the year to give your home’s detectors a little extra TLC. Take the time to clean out your detectors of dust, spider webs, and debris and replace all of your batteries. This will give you peace of mind and confidence that your home is protected.
When it comes to energy loss, air leaks from your doors and windows can be some of the most serious contributors. Keep your home draft free in the winter by taking the time to weather strip all of the windows and doors in your home. This can be done using nail-on strips, adhesive-backed tapes, or can even be a DIY project.
This quick and easy tip requires nothing but the flip of a switch to help you save on your energy bills this winter. Taking the time to reverse your fans clockwise in the winter season will help prevent your warm air from rising too far, keeping the heat where you want it and giving your furnace a much needed helping hand. To do this, simply flip the switch on your ceiling fan to reverse it. If the switch is not openly accessible or present on the outside of the fan, check inside.
You may be excited to cozy up by the fireplace during cold, winter evenings, but take the proper precautions before you light that first fire. Throughout the course of the year debris, creosote, and other forms of build up can settle throughout your fireplace, increasing your risk of chimney fires. Set up a professional chimney inspection and cleaning to ensure your home is safe and sound.
No matter the season, routine maintenance is essential to preserving your home and giving you and your family proper peace of mind. The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).
Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!