HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR JANUARY
January may be cold & dreary, but the upside of the weather sending you inside is you can start a simple home maintenance plan. Here are a few ways to keep your home ready for the winter and keep things functioning properly the rest of the year.
Test your carbon monoxide & smoke detectors
Change your furnace filters
Change your range hood fan (if needed)
Check your water softener
Check for ice dams & icicles
Testing Your Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
In the winter months, your usage of heaters and wood fires begin to increase, making it extremely important to keep your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors working to their best of their functions. Familiarize yourself with the location of your “TEST” buttons on each device and don’t forget to change your batteries if needed.
Changing Your Furnace Filters
As dust multiplies and allergies worsen in the colder months, this is an ideal time to change your furnace filter. The basic role of a furnace filter is to trap dirt, dust and airborne particles before they can get into your heating system. They have the potential of damaging your fan or heating coils in your unit. Changing your furnace filter is a quick and easy way to ensure that your heating system is working at it’s maximum efficiency and keep the air in your home purified.
A good rule of thumb for changing your filter is to change them based on their type. Your basic fiberglass filters should be switched every one to two months. Paper furnace filters should be changed every four months to a year. Electrostatic furnace filters should be changed every four to six weeks.
Change Your Range Hood Fan
When you are inside during the colder months, you may frequently use your kitchen to prepare delicious and comforting home cooked meals to avoid getting outside in the chillier temperatures. As you use your stove top, your range hood fan will remove grease, smoke and fumes that are present in the air as you cook. If your hood goes too long without being cleaned or changed, clumps of grease will accumulate. Consistently cleaning every three to four weeks will keep your range working in good condition.
Check Your Water Softener
Water softeners work to replace calcium and magnesium ions in your water with sodium ions through the use of negatively-charged resin beads. These beads attract positively-charged minerals, allowing your water to become “soft” as the minerals begin to stick to the beads themselves. There are a lot of moving parts in this simple, yet complicated system, resulting occasionally in hard water spots, difficulty forming suds from soap, and changes in water pressure.
If any of those are happening in your home, it may be time to have your softener inspected by a water treatment professional.
Check for Icicles & Ice Dams
While our winter has been kind to us and kept the snow and ice at bay so far, but that day will come. Be prepared by making note of your gutters to avoid a potentially messy situation later. Ice dams may form when water from melting snow freezes into ice and stays at your roofline’s edge. If left to melt on its own, the ice that develops may stop water from properly draining off of your roof. If water is unable to drain properly, there may be back up underneath your roof shingles. This water can then make its way into your home.
Check for water stains in your attic and along the ceiling of your walls and examine the icicles around the exterior of your home. If the icicles are confined to your gutters and have no water trapped behind them, then you have most likely avoided the formation of an ice dam. If you do see an ice dam, immediately remove these from your roof to prevent damage to your home. The easiest way is to melt these is to utilize calcium chloride ice melt. Be sure to avoid using rock salt or sodium chloride, which can cause damage to your roof.
Begin 2021 by practicing of few of these maintenance tips to maintain the integrity and functionality of many of your home’s essential systems. Be sure to check back with us each month as we highlight a series of tips, tricks and to-dos to maintain your home.