Winterizing your home before it gets too cold is a great way to keep your family comfortable and protect them from possible hazards. Running the furnace consistently during the winter can put extra pressure on the bills each month and cause additional wear and tear on mechanical parts. Before the snow piles up and temperatures drop into the negatives, make sure your Canton home is prepared this winter season with these essential safety tips.
Inspect the Furnace and Chimney
Before turning on the furnace or lighting the fireplace, bring in a professional to check these systems and confirm they’re functional and efficient. Replace the furnace filter and look around the system for any liquid leaks or corroded metal. There shouldn’t be any strange smells or visible damage. If applicable, your fireplace should be thoroughly cleaned and checked for loose bricks or animal damage. Confirm the damper is still working and is able to be easily opened and closed. Being proactive with your home maintenance and repairs can protect your family from gas leaks, chimney fires or expensive furnace repairs in the near future.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Furnaces are expected to run day and night for months at a time during the winter. This constant use can lead to damaged parts, clogged air filters and potential gas leaks. The home should be outfitted with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure the safety of all inhabitants. Detectors should be installed on every floor of the home to catch any signs of toxic gases or fire. Make sure to test each one at least once a month and confirm the batteries are still supporting the device. Checking that your fire extinguisher is functioning and within its expiration date is another great proactive tip.
Invest in an Indoor Thermometer
Some rooms of the home can stay naturally cooler than others. This could be because of their position in the house, gaps in the windows or how often the room is utilized during the winter. Purchasing an indoor thermometer for these rooms can help you keep the temperature in a safe range for older family members, children and pets. Cold temperatures can become increasingly uncomfortable the longer you stay in them, making it essential to check drafty rooms frequently. Winter presents more opportunities for the home to experience dangerous temperatures inside that can put at-risk family members in unsafe environments.
Seal Drafty Rooms
Drafty rooms are every homeowner’s enemy. You may struggle to find every air leak in the home because they can come from window gaps and even the ductwork itself. Air leakage can be caused by many factors and will lead to higher utility bills and wasted heat when it’s most needed. Make sure to check each window and caulk up gaps or visible leaks. Thermal curtains are a great way to keep the cold breeze out and maintain better heat in an area. If rooms are still cold in the home, you may need to have a professional check your ductwork for damage.
Consider Purchasing Rugs
Utilizing rugs is a small but effective way to maintain warmer room temperatures in the home. Hardwood or vinyl plank flooring often doesn’t keep heat as well as carpeting. Putting down rugs can make hard floors warmer underfoot and maintain a better temperature. Rugs are an easy fixture to place in nearly any room. They’ll add character and comfort while keeping heat from leaking through the floor. Seasonal rugs can be packed away during the summer and only utilized when necessary. This is a great budget alternative to heated floors or carpeting.
Trim Overgrown Landscaping and Trees
Now that the inside of the house is efficiently winterized, it’s time to move outdoors. With heavy snows and ice on the way, overgrown shrubbery and tree branches can become weighed down and break, causing damage to the home during strong storms. Tree branches too close to the house can crack against the building, ripping through window screens and damaging the siding. Preparing the yard ahead of the frigid weather limits how much time you have to spend outside during the winter and creates an overall safer environment for family members. Protect your landscaping by appropriately trimming, covering and maintaining your yard before the ground hardens and frost harms your favorite plants.
Keep Snow off Walkways
Yards require a lot of maintenance during the year from mowing the lawn in the summer to raking up the leaves in the fall. Keeping the walkways, sidewalks and steps around your home clean and usable is essential to daily convenience and accessibility during an emergency. Shoveling and putting down yard-safe salt can keep your daily walk to your car easy, without any unfortunate slips or tumbles. In a worst-case scenario, it also allows professionals to quickly access the home during an emergency. The driveway should always be cleaned off and ready for car use. Shoveling nearby sidewalks is a kind gesture to neighbors.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Functioning gutters keep water from falling and sitting too close to the home’s foundation. When these gutters and downspouts are clogged with fallen leaves or animal nests, they can become damaged and crack. This issue becomes much worse during the winter when ice and snow pile up on the roof. This leads to dangerous icicles forming above porches and around the home. It might also cause the gutters to become too heavy to stay attached. When the snow melts and the gutters aren’t ready to hold all that water, it can cause damage to the foundation and flooding into the basement. Keep the flow of rainwater and ice in the gutters free of blockages and safely moving away from the home.
Have Your Home Professionally Inspected
You should frequently be checking your home’s heating and cooling system during the year for any new damage, leaks, corrosion or signs of diminished function. Checking the system yourself is a great way to catch issues before they develop further and cause significant damage, but a professional technician should be called in for regular annual maintenance or to address any malfunction. Professionals have the experience, tools and training to help you properly install, maintain and repair your heating and cooling systems. You can rely on the team from Green Energy Mechanical Inc for the assistance you need.
Canton’s Local Home Comfort Experts
Even extremely competent homeowners shouldn’t attempt repair of their HVAC system. Beyond keeping a good eye on it and regularly changing the filters, you should leave the heavy lifting to our technicians at Green Energy Mechanical Inc. We can handle any task you have for us, and we’ll make sure the job is done right the first time. We’re located on Neponset Street in Canton, and we serve the entire surrounding area. Count on us for heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance. Trust us to help you install a programmable thermostat, clean or seal the ducts, put in a boiler and more. We’re also a plumbing company that provides work for anything from small clogs to installing entire systems. We’ve been doing all this since 2008, and it has earned us an A+ rating from the BBB.
Make sure your home is prepared for the winter season. Call today to schedule an HVAC maintenance check with one of our experienced technicians at Green Energy Mechanical Inc.