TIPS + TOOLS

Is your home winter ready?

October 26, 2015

Inspecting your home on a regular basis and following good maintenance practices are the best way to protect your investment in your home. Whether you take care of a few tasks at a time or several all at once, it is important to get into the habit of doing them.

As the leaves fall, we provide our top 10 tips to get your home ready for the winter!

  1. First off, we want to have a look at the furnace. Have it inspected by a professional and change your filter. The odds are good it will be running for several months and you don’t want to be dealing with the chill that comes from a broken furnace in the dead of winter.
  2. Fireplaces are another source of heat for many. If your fireplace is wood burning, have your chimney cleaned and the fireplace inspected. For gas fireplaces, have them inspected to ensure the batteries are good and pilot lights are on.
  3. Check your eavestrough and clear any debris. Keeping them clear helps avoid melting snow building up and causing an ice damn. Something else that can reduce ice dams are heat cables. Now is a good time to install them before the snow starts! Contact our Service Department if you would like more details on the associated costs and benefits.
  4. If you already have heat cables installed, plug them in or turn them on depending on the system you have installed. Make sure they are working before the snow builds up and it is too late.
  5. Inspect the weather stripping on your doors and windows. We had you check these in the spring to keep the cool air in your home, and now you want to keep in the heat! It may feel tedious, but as mother would say, it’s for your own good.
  6. If you are feeling as though your home is especially “leaky”, you can also install shrink film or seal and peal caulking on the windows. Both of these products can be purchased at your local hardware store or completed by Amsted’s Service Department.
  7. Before you get caught off guard by that first major snowfall, you will want to check your shovels to make sure they are in good working order, and if you have a snow blower, have it serviced. Snow removal is less frustrating when your tools are in working order. And in case our next edition comes out after that snowfall, allow us to be the first to remind you to take your time and do some stretches beforehand. Being cooped up inside because of injury is not the way anyone should spend the winter.
  8. After the inevitable snow comes, as you are shovelling, try to push it away from the house as best you can. This can help to prevent some water coming in your basement during the spring.
  9. Ensure you have your roof rake handy. If you don’t yet have one, you can pick one up at the local hardware store. As the snow falls, you want to be removing the three feet from the edge. This helps prevent ice from forming and causing ice dams. If you’re not comfortable removing snow from your roof or you have a two or three story home you can always call a roofer. They are equipped to do this safely.
  10. And for those lucky snow birds or those planning a trip this winter, don’t forget to turn the water off before you leave. This will help to prevent any pipes freezing and bursting while you are gone.

Have a safe and warm winter!

If you’re looking for more resources, you can download our full Seasonal Maintenance Checklist here. And don’t forget, Amsted’s Service Department offers support on all of these items. We’re there for all your upgrade and repair needs!