Get ready for winter by ensuring your home can withstand whatever the worst of the season throws at it. Is your HVAC ready to face extended chilly weather and heavy snowfalls? Are your roof and guttering able to withstand fierce winds and heavy rain? Here are seven seasonal maintenance calls you should make before this winter to protect your home.
1 Air Duct Cleaning
First off, consider your HVAC and whether the air ducts are due for a cleaning. Generally, this should be done every two years. Cleaning the ducts improves air quality in the home. It also helps with the efficiency of the overall HVAC system, reducing energy costs. Call in qualified HVAC technicians for this task and get them to clean the dryer vent as well.
2 Chimney Sweeping — an Essential Seasonal Maintenance Call Before Winter
Your fireplace needs to be in prime condition for the long winter ahead. Any creosote build-up should be swept away before fires are lit. Otherwise, there is a danger that the chimney will catch fire. Creosote removal is best left to professional chimney sweeps to handle. They will check the fireplace and chimney for any damage or blockages and thoroughly clean the flues.
You’ll want to tick this maintenance call off long before frosty days begin, and you want to start lighting fires. Once the winter chill sets in, the demand for chimney cleaners will increase, and you may have trouble scheduling service when you want it.
3 Furnace Inspection and Cleaning
One of your seasonal maintenance calls before winter must include a check and clean of the furnace. As the Department of Energy states — properly maintaining and upgrading heating systems will save you money and increase comfort within the home. Get a qualified HVAC technician to do this task. They will check furnace parts, including the blower, heat pump, fans, humidifier, and thermostat.
This may be a good time to consider installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one. You can reduce the temperature as needed and save more on energy costs.
4 Gutter Cleaning and Replacement
Walk around your home and look at the guttering. What state are they in? Do they look like they can face up to heavy rainfalls, or are they likely to come away from the house due to missing screws, rust, or damaged parts? When was the last time you had leaves and debris removed? Call in dependable technicians to inspect, clean, and repair loose guttering. If your budget permits, consider installing gutter guards, as they will eliminate debris falling into the gutters.
5 Insulation and Weatherstripping
Check all your doors and windows for drafts. Look for any gaps that show daylight. The amount of heat escaping from small cracks is quite extraordinary. It can make a significant difference to home heating energy costs. Fix this problem with caulk or weather stripping as needed. If you’re not the handy type, well, that’s why handymen exist.
If you’re fighting a losing battle due to old degrading window frames, consider upgrading to newer energy-efficient windows with low-maintenance frames. New windows can make a dramatic improvement to room heating needs.
If you don’t have adequate insulation in the roof, now is an excellent time to upgrade, ensuring better heat retention over the winter season.
6 Roof Inspection and Repairs
Another of your necessary seasonal maintenance calls before winter is to schedule a roof inspection. Major storms and strong winds blowing away loose tiles, shingles, or other roof fixtures can create havoc. Small leaks can turn into large and cause internal damage to the home interior. Roof vents should also be looked at for deterioration, along with metal flashing.
7 Masonry Work
The last item on your scheduled maintenance call list is to have your paving, walkways, and other outdoor structures checked. Are there any loose pavers likely to become a hazard in icy and rainy conditions? Has mortar crumbled and dislodged from a retaining wall, causing you to wonder whether it will be able to withstand a major storm? Has there been damage to the chimney? Such problems should be easy to spot by a simple walk around your yard.
Need Help with Seasonal Maintenance?
If you’ve ticked off all those maintenance calls, you should be snug and comfortable this winter, no matter what the season throws at you. However, if you’re in Northern Virginia and need help with your seasonal upkeep, get in touch with us at Six Penny Chimney. Whether you need air duct cleaning, chimney sweeping, or gutter replacement, we’ll have your problems sorted in no time.