It’s no secret that the winter months are approaching, we have certainly felt the shift in the weather recently as it is already beginning to cool. Soon there will be snow, cold winds, and the potential for below-freezing temperatures, so it’s a good time to make sure your home is prepared with some minor preventative maintenance. As property managers with our tenants and homeowners best interests in mind, Reedy and Company Realtors, LLC, offers you these tips to prepare your home for winter.
- Check the furnace
- It is always a better idea to test your unit to ensure your heat is working before you really need it. HVAC technicians will undoubtedly be busy during the peak of the winter season so schedule a check-up now to prevent a seasonal emergency that will more likely have delays and higher costs. A quick tune-up goes a long way and will allow you and your tenant to be comfortable and safe throughout the coldest days of the year.
- Replace your HVAC filter
- Air filters should generally be replaced every 30-90 days. Clean air filters mean cleaner air, more efficient heating, less possibility of damage to your HVAC system, and a reduced energy bill. With Reedy & Company, tenants whose homes have an HVAC system receive custom-fit HVAC filters delivered approximately every 60 days, with the cost built into their monthly rent.
- Check your outdoor HVAC vents
- Clear out any leaves, twigs, or debris from your outdoor HVAC unit to prevent ventilation issues. If there are serious blockages, carbon monoxide could be a safety issue in your home, and a less serious blockage could still hurt your HVAC system or make it run less efficiently. If later in the winter, you get a significant amount of snow, you should clear that away from the vent as well.
- Keep the heat on throughout the winter
- Even if you keep it at a low temperature, it is important to never turn your heating system off during the winter. Without any heat, your pipes will very likely freeze and rupture, resulting in expensive plumbing repairs and damage to the tenant’s personal property and the interior of the home. If there are rooms in your home without heat, keep doors (and even cabinets under your sinks) in the house open so that warm air flows into those rooms. The heat should remain at 60 degrees at the lowest throughout the cold months.
- Maintain clean gutters and drains
- Make sure that gutters and any drains on your roof are cleared of all leaves, twigs, and other debris. Water must be able to flow freely, as blockage could cause freezing gutters, icicles, and draining issues.
- Roof, chimney, seals, and vents
- Carefully ensure the roof is clear of debris as well including leaves and other natural matter can retain moisture and cause potential damage to your roof. Further, you should check your chimney if you have one. Any loose seals around chimneys or vents should also be fixed before winter to prevent future issues, leaks, air flow, etc. which can become more costly over time.
- Caulk around windows and doors
- Drafty doors and windows let warm air out and cold air in, not only compromising the temperature in your home but causing a drain on energy. As a rule of thumb, if the gaps between siding and window or door frames are more than the width of a nickel, you should re-caulk to prevent airflow.
- Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect hoses
- One of the biggest concerns for your home in the winter is frozen pipes, and your exterior water lines will likely freeze first and spread inwards. Prevent this damage by disconnecting, draining, and storing hoses for winter and turning off the exterior water lines and draining those as well. Most homes have a separate valve for exterior pipes, but if your home is older then you should consider contacting a plumber about retrofitting exterior valves or insulating them for winter.
- Leave faucets on a slow drip
- If your pipes have a tendency to freeze in the winter, then leave the faucets in your home on a very slow drip during below-freezing weather. Only minimal water is used, and it keeps the water flowing and prevents freezing.
Getting ahead of the winter season will ensure that your fun traditions in the snow, enjoying the holidays, and staying cozy and dry will prevail. Reedy and Company Realtors, LLC can help provide preventative maintenance to investors’ property, keeping homes safe and comfortable for tenants. Contact us today to see how we can help!