It may seem like it has been winter for weeks, but there are still several more weeks to go before warmer weather arrives. Just because it is colder and the days are shorter doesn’t mean home maintenance should be paused. There are still plenty of winter home maintenance tasks to complete to help keep your home comfortable and prevent problems. Here are 8 chores to put on your to-do list during the winter.
Change the HVAC Filter
Most of us run the heat regularly during the winter, which means it’s important to change your HVAC filter more often. Dust and other debris build up in the filter and contaminate the air that comes out of the vents. Clogged filters also strain the system and cause it to work harder, which drives up your heating bill. If you haven’t changed the filter yet this winter, do so now.
Test Smoke and CO Detectors
House fires and carbon monoxide poisoning happen more during winter than at other times of the year. This makes it all the more important to test your home’s safety devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace your batteries every 6 months to make sure the devices will work when you need them.
Clean Vent Covers
Vent covers that conditioned air passes through collect dust and dirt. Remove and clean all of the vent covers in winter. It’s a time-consuming but easy task that you’ll complete without having to step foot outdoors.
Unscrew the vent covers from the floor or ceiling and set them to soak in the bathtub in warm water with a little bit of dish soap. Vacuum out the inside of the vents while the covers are soaking. Once they are clean, dry them off and re-attach them to the vents.
Stock Up on Supplies
Don’t wait until a big snowstorm to buy things like a snow shovel and ice melt. Next time you are running errands, pick up everything you might need during a snowstorm, including flashlights and batteries. When a snowstorm hits, you may not be able to leave your house, or all the essentials may already be sold out.
Replace Exterior Light Bulbs
Winter nights are long and dark. Because the sun goes down so early, it might be pitch black outside by the time you come home from work. Replace burned-out light bulbs in exterior fixtures so you’ll be able to safely navigate the property at night. Abundant exterior lighting helps safety and home security.
A quick and easy winter home maintenance task is to remove all drapes and curtains and launder them. Clean linens help improve indoor air quality. Follow the washing instructions on their tags.
If you haven’t already prepped your plumbing pipes, do so now by adding foam pipe insulation. If you live in a particularly cold area, also consider installing a heat cable to prevent pipes from freezing.
Water Heater Maintenance
Hire a professional to inspect, drain, and flush the water heater. Insulate the tank by wrapping it in a water heater blanket. This will save energy and help the water heater maintain the right temperature.