Home Winter Maintenance
House cleaning, and especially deep seasonal cleaning and maintenance tasks have never been high on the list of things I want to tackle. I manage to keep the house from deteriorating around us but actually moving furniture and appliances to clean really never happens. The other day I started to clean and believe me, I have no idea what got into me, but I kept going. I started DEEP CLEANING and performing what should be routine maintenance. Of course, I am not completely finished, and I need to call some professional help for some of the tasks, but I am making progress. I came up with a list of things that should be done for Home Winter Maintenance, and I am sharing this list with you.
Home Winter Maintenance
Task : Pull out the refrigerator and clean underneath and behind it. Dust accumulating under the refrigerator can cause it to run hot, be less economical to run and present a fire hazard.
As I was cleaning the floor and the cabinet near the refrigerator, I saw that I was pulling out clumps of dust and dog hair. Remembering that this can be a fire hazard, I thought I better be more careful and get this mess cleaned up. I asked my husband to help move the refrigerator out, cleaned up the dust bunnies, wiped the back of the refrigerator , and vacuumed the fan vents and along the sides and front of the refrigerator. Then we carefully slid it back into place being careful to not crimp the electric cord or the water supply line to the ice maker.
Task : Change the filter in the furnace. Call your heating contractor to schedule an annual service on your furnace.
Honestly this should be done quarterly, but at least get it changed before starting up the heat in the winter and again before running the air conditioner in the summer. Whenever possible, unless you have experience with heating equipment, I recommend getting a service plan for emergencies. At least if the furnace breaks down on the coldest night of the year, you will be at the top of the list for repair. If you can’t afford to buy a service plan, think about buying an electric portable space heater. Propane heaters are not safe for indoor use so please do not try this at home!
Task: Clean gutters and valleys
The falling leaves can leave you with a mess on your roof in addition to a mess on your lawn. If you can’t safely access your roof, have someone do this for you. Clean out the gutters and the roof valleys of leaves, and sticks. Having the leaves there can lead to build up and then the water from heavy rain backs up. This can lead to roof leaks and damage to the inside of your home.
Task: Clean and check
At this point in the year, you may have already started using your wood stove or fireplace. But you can do some maintenance. Let the wood stove or fireplace cool down, remove the old ashes. Make sure you use a metal bucket and please take them away from your home and deck. Let them sit in the metal bucket for a few days to make sure all embers have burned out. If you want to clean your chimney yourself, you can use a few pieces of firewood tied to a rope and drag it up and down the chimney from the roof. Or, if you cannot safely do this, hire a professional chimney sweep to do the job for you. Check the area around the chimney on your roof. Make sure the roof is clear of debris and that no leaves are stuck on the top of the chimney. There are commercial products available at the big box stores that you can burn in your fire to reduce the creosote that builds up. In the past, people used rock salt, thrown into the fire to do the same thing.
Task: call for a pump out
This is another time of year when it is good to do preventative action before you have a septic backup! I think we can all agree that those backups are very unpleasant and not at all what you want to have happen when you have holiday company.
Task: Check the pipes for exposure to cold temperatures
Check for pipes that might be exposed to the elements along the back of your house or lines going into your home that may be exposed. Turn off outside water spigots from inside your house. Drain them on the outside and then turn off the spigot. No one wants to come home to a burst pipe from freezing temperatures.
If you have a home water conditioning system, now is a good time to call for yearly maintenance if you have not already done so. Remember that when you have extra people in your home over the holidays, you will be running more water through your conditioner. This is not a good time to be without running water!
Task: clean out the crud
Take a few minutes to clean out the bottom and around the seals in the dishwasher. Use a mixture of vinegar and lemon oil to clean and leave it sparkling. Again, with extra dishes and more company in the house, you will be using your dishwasher even more than normal Make sure it is in top working condition.
And one last subject. Before using any electrical device check the cords, and plugs for damage or wear. Space heaters should be placed securely on the floor away from drapes, and bedding, and clothing or furniture. Check these frequently to make sure they have not fallen over.
With holiday decorations, check the exterior extension cords and the decorative lights for wear or damage. Plug into appropriate outlets and turn them off when leaving home. Better safe than sorry.
Now that you have an idea of the type of things that should be taken care of seasonally, go make your own list. Some things will be unique to your home and property. The important thing is that you are more prepared than you were before.
Thanks for joining me here!
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