People escape the crisp winter air by creating a warm and comfortable indoor environment. During this time of the year, we have to make the necessary preparations to keep our homes warm and cozy. Not only for ourselves and our loved ones, but for our guests, too.
Regardless of whether you’ll be hosting the holiday dinners this year, everyone wants their home to feel warm and inviting during the winter months.
Here are some quick home maintenance tips to help you prepare your home for the holidays:
Toilet & Plumbing Leaks
The average home has at least one plumbing leak in the home, whether it be from toilets, sinks, or other areas in your plumbing. This could mean thousands or tens of thousands of wasted water every year.
If you believe your toilet is leaking, you can simply pour a few drops of food coloring into the water in the tank. Don’t use the toilet for 30 minutes and then come back. If the water in the bowl turns the same color, the leak is confirmed.
If your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, you may need to replace the flapper or adjust the chain. Turn off water to the toilet before making any repairs yourself. Simply tighten the silver knob located near the base of the toilet. Learn how to fix strange toilet sounds.
Check the washing machine supply lines once in a month to ensure that they aren’t leaking. Most of the time you can fix these issues yourself with a pair of pliers if it’s caught early. If your leak is major, it’s best to call an expert to avoid flooding and additional major damage.
Prevent clogs by using a drain hose wire screen or panthyhose to filter out lint and large pieces of dirt. Periodically clean or replace the filter.
Clean the lint screen properly, and disconnect the pipe from the back of your drier, cleaning it out at least twice a year. Excess lint trapped in the dryer shoot is a common cause of household fires.
Prevent dryer fires by:
- Cleaning the lint screen before each load
- Periodically cleaning the dryer vent and exhaust duct
- Cleaning behind the dryer
- Air-drying clothes that have been exposed to flammable chemicals, such as gasoline
- Replacing plastic or foil ducting material with rigid or corrugated metal ducts
- Turning the dryer off before leaving home.
- Scheduling annual electrical safety inspections from a professional
- Scheduling professional dryer inspections every year if you have a gas-powered dryer
Water heaters are used year round. Have your plumber check the anode rod during your annual plumbing inspection. The anode rod prevents damage and corrosion to your tank. Additionally, remember to drain your tank of sediment every year. Your plumber can do it for you during your annual plumbing inspections. If you have a tankless water heater, however, you don’t have to worry about anode rods or draining the tank.
Regardless of if you have a tank or tankless water heater, sign up for our Home Maintenance Plan to ensure your water heater functions properly year round.
Bonus Tip: Turn your water heater temperature down from the standard 140 degrees F to a safer and more energy-efficient 120 degrees F.
The supply lines in the bathrooms and kitchens need to be cleaned separately from time to time to prevent clogging. You can use a snake or our team of expert rooter plumbers can come out and assist you. This will prevent excessive back-ups and expensive flooding.
You can help prevent clogs in the first place by using drain screens and watching what you put down the pipes. Learn more about maintaining your plumbing system on our Plumbing FAQ page.
Heating & Air Conditioning
Schedule professional HVAC maintenance at the start of every heating and cooling season to ensure your system runs efficiently and effectively year round.
It is crucial to clean or replace the air filter in your furnace or air conditioner every 30-60 days. This simple step provides your family with clean air, a well-functioning HVAC system, and eliminates unnecessary wear and tear on your system.
Check the door of the refrigerator and ensure that it has a proper magnetic effect at the time of closure. Otherwise you could be wasting a lot of energy and causing food to go bad.
Additional tips for your refrigerator include:
- Refrigerate prepare food within two hours of cooking.
- Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf to prevent it from contaminating other food items.
- Make sure your fridge and other kitchen appliances are plugged into GFCI-protected outlets/circuits.
- Periodically inspect appliances for damaged cords, plugs, and connectors. Appliances generally last around 10 years. Replace damaged appliances or have them professionally repaired.
Check your home’s humidification system at least twice a year. For ideal humidity levels to protect your health and home, invest in a humidification system that gets installed directly to your existing HVAC system.
Alabama air can get really dry and these systems ensure our skin and wood surfaces receive the moisture they need. And when the air gets humid again, the dehumidifier kicks on to remove excess moisture, which can cause mold and mildew problems.
Paint, Gutters & Outdoor Maintenance
Once a year, you can change the look of your overall house and ensure that it looks like a newly built home all the time. It’s a great time to fix siding, trim, window covers, and gutters. This will prevent rotting, further damage from wind, and leaks into your home.
Don’t forget to clean out the gutters, rake the lawn, and other essential outdoor fall maintenance chores.
- 5 Essential Outdoor Maintenance Tasks
- Halloween Homeowner Safety | Prepping for Trick-or-Treaters
- DIY Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Maintenance
- Party Prep: How to Protect Your Home from Guests
- How to Keep Your Home Safe & Secure
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For HVAC, ventilation, and humidification solutions in the Birmingham area, contact OnTime Service at 205-942-1405.