Winter Maintenance Reminders

Home maintenance can be a real chore for anyone, but there is no avoiding the fact; what you don’t maintain now, can drain your wallet later.

During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season.

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Change furnace filters
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic
  • Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors
  • Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have turned on your heat
  • Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
  • Clean kitchen exhaust hoods and filters
  • Check the attic for adequate ventilation
  • Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles; as well as, breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys
  • Have your fireplace professionally cleaned, check your chimney for loose or missing mortar, and make sure your damper closes tightly
  • Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets
  • Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained
  • Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home
  • Check outdoor lighting fixtures, replace bulbs
  • Install storm doors and windows
  • Maintain your heating unit/furnace and seal your ducts
  • Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections

These are just a few of the items that most homeowners should maintain during the winter months.

If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to get the job done, contact ANDY ONCALL®!

Andy’s Helpful Tips!

Uses for everyday home items:

Coffee Filter

  • Clean windows and mirrors using a filter including your car windows.

Coffee Grounds

  • “Fridge freshener”: Put dry grounds into an old margarine tub with holes poked in the lid. Place the tub in the refrigerator to absorb odors.
  • Odor-eliminator: Keep grounds in a can near the sink. Rub a small amount over your hands after peeling onions, chopping garlic or handling fish to get rid of the odor.

Powdered Lemon or Orange Drink

  • Try using it as a dishwasher stain remover: To remove rust from the inside walls, pour 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary.

Toothpaste (regular white paste)

  • Clean chrome: Shine sink fixtures (rub over faucets with a wet sponge)
  • Polish silver: Clean silver jewelry in a pinch

Petroleum Jelly

Seal a plumber’s plunger: Before you reach for that plunger to unclog the bathroom toilet, find some petroleum jelly. Apply it along the rim of the plunger and it will help create a tighter seal. Whoosh, clog’s gone.

Energy Efficiency

If there is one fact when it comes to heating fuel or electricity is that both sources of energy will never return to the prices of the past. Therefore, to save money and still live comfortably homeowners must take matters into their own hands.

  1. Change the Thermostat: The old mercury-filled wall thermostats should be changed for the digital kind, as the old-style units rely on a mechanical device that is very inefficient.
  2. Caulking: After a while, even new homes develop leaks and cracks that are not noticed unless the homeowner or a home inspector goes around and inspects the place. Caulking shrinks over time leaving tiny gaps around the windows and spaces between the wooden sills and the foundations.
  3. Electrical Outlets and Utilities: In older homes, fiberglass insulation can allow small channels of air through leaks in the exterior sheathing. Special insulating pads can be put on the outlets and expanding foam insulation can be sprayed into holes around the utilities.
  4. Doors: Old wooden doors can shrink with age, so it is best to replace the weather-stripping and even put a new bottom sweeper on the door. For exterior doors facing a windy direction, a storm door will save energy by deflecting the cold wind before it hits the interior door.

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