The holidays will soon be upon us and most of us made it a point to spend some time with our friends and family. This year many of us won’t be spending that time traveling, but spending it at home. So, now is a great time to get our homes ready for the holidays. And do those yearly maintenance items that tend to be overlooked.
Before we start decorating, we should address some home projects to keep our families and home safer this winter. First, we should start with a clean slate. Purging the items we don’t use anymore and cleaning the house is a great way to start. Next, we need to address some winter maintenance, like:
- Yard work
- Repair any damage to patios, decks and pathways
- Clean out the gutters
- Clean out dryer lint
- Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and replace the batteries
- Clean your coffee maker, microwave and range
- Clean out the garbage disposal
- Check out your dishwasher and drain
- Clean the chimney
- Clean range hood grease filters with a degreaser
Have the Fire Extinguisher Ready
Many fires start in the kitchen. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy before you start preparing holiday meals. And review fire safety guidelines, such as how to put out a grease fire.
Make a Safety Plan
Every home should have a safety plan for your family all year long, but if you don’t, now is the time to put one in place. You and your family need to plan exit strategies in case of emergencies and practice them before the cold weather sets in. Where will you meet up if you have to leave due to a fire or other emergency? What are the quickest ways out of each room if there is a fire? Does everyone know where the fire extinguishers are located?
Prepare your home for winter with some energy-saving tips
Whether you have a new home or looking to improve your older home’s energy efficiency, we have some suggestions about how you can prepare your home for the coming months.
Benefits of energy efficient homes and appliances
Energy efficient features of newer homes may include tight construction to eliminate drafts and moisture, high-performance windows, tight ducts, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and a higher efficient HVAC system. Energy-efficient appliances save money in the form of lower utility costs. Fewer temperature swings throughout the day, even temperature maintained throughout the home, and better noise isolation from outside are all beneficial byproducts of an energy efficient home.
Check your HVAC system
As we transition away from the intense summer heat, you should use the opportunity to give a little TLC to your HVAC system. Your home’s HVAC system should be inspected annually and regularly maintained. If it’s ten years old or older, it may need repairs or it may need to be replaced. We have highly trained, professional HVAC technicians who can install and maintain high-efficiency HVAC equipment, including energy-efficient air conditioners, heat pumps, and mini-splits. Our HVAC technicians also perform maintenance checkups which typically include: checking thermostat settings, tightening connections, lubricating moving parts, and checking the condensate drain, evaporator and condenser coils, and refrigerant levels. We recommend annual pre-season checkups to keep cooling and heating equipment in tip-top shape. In addition to pre-season inspections, you should clean or replace your air filters regularly.
Maximize the energy efficiency of your home
When cooler weather approaches, it’s important to keep in mind a few quick and easy-to-implement tips to improve the energy efficiency of your home:
- Utilize warmth from the sun by opening blinds and curtains to allow the sunlight to heat your room naturally
- Check your exterior siding, windows and doors for cracks and air leaks and caulk to seal
- Adjust the temperature and lower it when you are asleep or not at home; utilize a programmable thermostat to make this simple change even easier
- Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees
- Use LED lights when decorating your home for the holidays
- Insulate pipes near windows, doors and in areas of the home that are unheated.
- Inspect Insulation and ensure you have an adequate blanket of insulation attic, walls and crawlspace.
- Reverse ceiling fans to push heated air down
Now, prepare for those Holiday visitors by taking a few steps to cover some forgotten items. You need to consider the little things, like, sharpening the kitchen knives, ensuring the toilet flushes properly, deep clean the bathroom, and make your home slip and child proof. Happy Holidays!