As the first bite of real cold hits, we can’t avoid the reality of the coming winter any longer. Have you prepared your home for winter? It isn’t too late to follow these 6 steps to make sure your house is ready for the toughest season of all.
1. Furnace Maintenance
When was the last time your furnace was inspected and cleaned? Anyone who has had their furnace fail in February because of something that could have been fixed in the fall will agree this is #1 on the list of preparing your home for winter. Just as your car needs regular inspection and tune ups, your furnace is a a piece of machinery which needs annual attention. This service visit should also include replacing the filter. Pro tip - if you are not on an annual maintenance plan, consider signing up for one.
2. Duct Cleaning
Unlike the furnace maintenance, this is not an annual event. But preparing your home for winter is the right time to check on how long it has been since the duct system in your house was cleaned. It is recommended to clean ducts every 3-5 years. You may prefer to do this more frequently if you have many pets, like to have the windows open, or are highly sensitive to allergens. If you notice a musty smell when the furnace comes on, or can see debris in the floor vents when you lift a register, then it is time to clean the ducts. This will improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, and the air quality in your home. With the extra hours you’ll be spending in your house over the winter, this is a great time to be thinking about better air quality!
3. Hoses & Eavestroughs
When you were planting those fall bulbs and mulching your garden, did you turn off all outside taps? If not, then this is the time to turn off the water supply to exterior hoses, taps, and sprinkler systems. Shelter any hoses to protect them from damage over the winter. Once the trees are bare of leaves, this is also the time to ensure eavestroughs are cleaned out. Leaves and debris in the gutters will prevent the spring melt and rains from flowing freely, and can cause damage. Pro tip: add extenders to downspouts to direct the flow of water away from weeping tiles and the foundation of your home.
4. Ready the Salt and Shovels
Before the first of the freeze, get a bin of salt ready for the porch and walkway. Remember that homeowners have a responsibility to keep the entrance to the house clear and safe for visitors - including your house cleaning service! Also, dig out the snow shovel so you have handy before the first real snow fall. Do you set up a snow clearing service for the winter? Maybe this can be the year you treat yourself - and save so much time in the mornings.
5. Emergency Kit
As our weather becomes more extreme and unpredictable, it is best to be prepared. An emergency kit of flashlights, batteries, candles, and tinned food is a smart thing to prepare before a power failure, an ice storm, or other winter surprise!
With the earlier nights and the cold temperatures, we spend more time inside our homes during the winter months. Getting caught up on house cleaning will improve your indoor air quality, and make it more pleasant for evenings on the couch. If you plan to entertain family and friends, this is certainly the time to think about dealing with any dust build up on baseboards, trim, and corners. If you don’t want to spend the extra time on this, call us to talk about giving us these house cleaning task. We have the tools and equipment to get this taken care of!