As winter approaches, cozying up to home and hearth becomes even more desirable. Taking care of some basic seasonal maintenance tasks can help your clients enjoy their homes even during the cold weather months ahead. Here’s a winter home maintenance checklist that you can share with your clients to remind them about some important tasks that need their attention this time of year. (Save a copy for yourself, too.)
- Make sure your heating system is ready to go by changing the filters and having units professionally inspected and maintained for the season. Consider installing programmable thermostats which can help lower heating costs by maintaining comfort. Programmable thermostats let you control temperature settings to suit your family’s schedule and preferences. Some can even be controlled via smartphones. According to the Energystar.gov website, the average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, and nearly half of that goes to heating and cooling costs. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting and maintaining those settings on programmable thermostats.
- To help keep warm air inside and cold air outside, check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors for cracks and deterioration that could be causing air leaks. Take measures to seal any leaks you find, which will help save energy costs and make your home more comfortable.
- If you have a fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned for fire safety. The Chimney Safety Institute of American recommends annual inspections performed by a certified chimney sweep. Stack firewood off the ground and away from exterior structure walls to discourage pest infestations.
- Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are operable and have fresh batteries.
- Clean fallen leaves and debris from gutters. If gutters are obstructed and don’t flow properly, water backs up and causes leaks.
- Winterize irrigation systems, exterior faucets, swimming pools, and water features.
- Wildlife, like rodents, squirrels, and raccoons, seek warmth and shelter in the winter. Make sure your home doesn’t provide an attractive haven by inspecting attics, basement, and roof areas for possible entry points that need to be sealed. Even small holes and crevices can provide access.
- Have your roof inspected. Winter can be hard on roofs, especially older ones. A roof inspection can reveal deficiencies that need repairing before ice and snow gather above and cause potential leaking and damage.
- Trim trees and shrubbery away from the house. In addition to helping prevent wildlife from getting on your roof, pruning will help prevent fallen branches from damaging your house in the event of a winter storm.
Even with diligent house maintenance, home systems and appliances will inevitably fail at some point. HSA Home Warranties can provide valuable protection and peace of mind by helping to safeguard homeowners from the expenses of covered mechanical and appliance failures.