WINTER HOMEOWNER CHECKLIST
The change in seasons means warmth maintenance! There’s nothing worse than frozen pipes, so read below see our winter homeowner checklist for easy chores that will help keep you home operating smoothly, and efficiently.
- Replace Your Furnace’s Air Filters:
Replacing the air filters on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system should be done every 1-3 months. This is important for keeping the air in your home free-of-dust and allergens, and for allowing unrestricted flow of the air through the ducts and vents. Replacing your filters regularly also helps to prevent mold growth and/or spread! We recommend a high quality air filter to help reduce indoor pollens and airborne particles. Air filters are rated from 1 to 16 on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. The scale determines the size of particles allowed to pass through the filter. To give some perspective on size, a mold spore ranges from 10-30 microns, while bacteria ranges from 2-3, and smoke at 0.5. If you’re not already using an air filter that is MERV 9-19, you should. They may be more expensive than the baseline, fiberglass mesh filters, but they are worth it!
- Winterize Spigots & Drain Garden Hoses:
Don’t fall victim to frozen pipes! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to turn off the water supply to your outdoor faucets. Make sure you detach all hoses, drain them, and store them away from the elements. If your outdoor faucets don’t have shut-off valves, you may have frost-free faucets. Frost-free faucets are installed at an angle and has a valve inside the foundation that allows water to drain when not in use. If your faucets do have a shut-off valve, place a bucket below and turn on the faucet to drain. Be sure to turn the faucet off when done.
- Inspect The Insulation In Your Attic:
The winter is a great time to check on the insulation in your attic. If there were any leaks earlier in the season, you can remove and replace damaged insulation or mold. It’s also a great idea to add more insulation. This will help keep the warmth in your home and save on your energy bills too! Some insulation can be an irritant to your eyes, lungs, and skin, so it’s important to be protected. When inspecting or handling insulation, wear long pants and sleeves with gloves, a dust mask, and protective eyewear if possible.
- Replace Old Decorations:
If you decorate your home for the holidays, make sure to inspect your strands of lights. If they’re the old, incandescent style – and you can’t untangle them, it might be time to throw them away. Chances are, we all probably have some left over incandescent strands still. We know it might not be in budget to replace them all right away, so consider replacing a strand each year for the LED (Light Emitting Diode) kind. LEDs are safer and use less energy. Using less energy means the LEDs stay cooler, are less of a fire hazard, and will incur less costs on your energy bill. PS: they last longer too!
In the case of an emergency in your home related to fire, water, or mold damage this holiday season, ServiceMaster of Baltimore is here to help! We’re available 24/7/365, so call us day or night and we’ll be right there! 410-780-1700