Top 10 Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Minnesota winters usually consist of sipping hot cocoa, building snowmen, and cozying up by the fire. Home maintenance is probably in the back of your mind, but there’s plenty you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape that can keep you from having to do extra work in the spring.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 winter home maintenance tips to follow this season.
- Driveway: Keep snow shoveled away from your foundation, garage, parking spots, and driveway. Flag the edges of your driveway and sidewalks to prevent damage to your lawn and landscaping during snow removal/plowing. We DO NOT recommend using any type of salt on your sidewalks or driveway as it can cause cracks/pitting and decompose sod/soil. Instead, we strongly encourage homeowners to use sand/crushed rock instead to reduce your environmental impact and maintain the product warranties.
- Air Conditioner/Furnace: Continue the habit of regularly replacing your air filters (We recommend monthly replacement)
- Exterior: Clear 2 feet of space around outdoor AC & heat units
- Exterior: Keep AC & heat units free of leaves, pollen, and grass
- Interior: Never close more than 20% of your home’s registers to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the HVAC system
- Adjust your humidifiers according to the exterior temps, to prevent increased humidity levels.
- Windows: Interior window condensation is caused by excessive moisture in the house and often occurs in the winter months when the warm air inside the house condenses on the cold windows.
- Seal up cracks around the windows with caulk or weather stripping
- Use exhaust fans and vents inside the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. Bathroom exhaust fans, in particular, should be used for at least 15 minutes prior to and following every shower or bath.
- Make sure all drapes and blinds are open during the day, so humidity isn’t trapped between the window treatment and window.
- Clean window tracks with equal parts vinegar and water. Use a cotton swab to get in tight spaces
- Faucets: If temperatures drop below 20 degrees, open your faucets to allow for slow dripping. This will help avoid frozen pipes.
- Fireplace: If you haven’t done so yet, have your fireplace cleaned. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises that homeowners have their heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by qualified professionals, and to remember to shut off portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
- Fans: In the winter months, turn the switch on your ceiling fan to run clockwise at low speed to help distribute the heat in your home.
- Thermostats: Regularly check or set automations on smart thermostats to maximize efficiency.
- Floors: With tracked-in snow, ice and salt your floors can take a beating in the winter. Add floor mats to entryways and high traffic areas of the home to protect your floors. Make sure to wipe up excess moisture from melted snow off boots off the floor. Also, it is important to maintain humidity levels to prevent the wood floor from shrinking or cracking.
- Clothes Dryer: Check on vents and hoses for lint. Vacuum any excess
- Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors: Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Every six months, replace the batteries in all your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
If you have any questions about your home maintenance, please reach out to our Customer Care team.