Winter brings images of cozy days and evenings at home, sitting in front of a roaring fire, sipping hot beverages, reading a good book, and eating comfort foods. Failed heating systems, roof leaks, and other unplanned malfunctions can disrupt your cozy plans. While you can’t prevent every household breakdown, you can minimize problems and help keep systems and appliances running more efficiently with proper maintenance and upkeep. Here are some suggestions to help get your home ready for the winter season:
- Have your heating system professionally checked and maintained to make sure it’s operating correctly and at peak efficiency. Have any necessary maintenance performed, change the filters, and check around windows and doors for gaps or openings that could cause air leaks. Repair or replace worn weather stripping and seal any holes that you find.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Be sure to stack firewood off the ground and away from your home’s exterior walls to help prevent pest infestations. Check fire screens for holes or tears.
- Clear your gutters to help prevent water from backing up and causing leaks. Check downspouts to make sure they direct water away from your home’s walls and foundation.
- Wind, rain, snow, and ice can take their toll on your home’s roof. Now is a good time to have your roof inspected for loose shingles or other deficiencies that could potentially lead to leaks and damages.
- Drain and store garden hoses. Protect outside faucets with covers. Be sure to drain and winterize pool and automatic irrigation pipes and lines.
- Add insulation to raise the temperature in attics, basements, crawl spaces, and garages to help protect pipes from freezing and bursting. Insulate the pipes themselves in unheated areas or against exterior walls.
- Pests like the shelter, warmth, and nourishment that your home provides, too. In the winter, rodents, squirrels, and raccoons may look for ways to get into your home. Even small holes and crevices can provide entry points, so inspect your attic, basement, and roof for holes and gaps that need to be sealed. It also helps to trim tree and shrubbery branches away from the house to prevent access.
Sometimes even the most diligent preparations can’t prevent home system and appliance breakdowns. An HSA℠ Home Warranty can help safeguard your household budget from the expenses of unexpected breakdowns during all seasons of the year. In addition to added budget protection, HSA Home Warranty coverage eliminates the stress and confusion of finding reliable repair help for covered items when you need it. When a covered item breaks down, HSA will dispatch a qualified home repair professional to handle the problem. Visit onlinehsa.com to find out more.