When snow stretches as far as I can see, the windchill is below 0°, and the outdoors basically looks like this...
...then all I want to do is burrow down under a quilt or get cozy with a book in front of the fireplace.
So, to help ensure a wonderful and cozy winter season, licensed contractor and TV home-improvement expert David Leon from Home Made Simple on the Oprah Winfrey Network has provided the following tips to help make your home as comfy as possible this season:
- Heating system and air filters – Have your heating system serviced every year and check the filters system every month. Also, inspect your system's exhaust vent for rust, damage, or any corrosion.
- Seal the leaks – Check to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed so heat doesn't escape. Inspect caulking and weather stripping around openings for wear and tear, and replace if necessary.
- Plumbing – Busted water pipes can cause expensive damage. Take time now to wrap outside pipes that might be exposed to extreme temperatures. Review the locations for the main water and fuel shut-off valves with all members of your household.
- Have a plan – When you own a home, you know that things are going to break down – but when it happens, do you know who you’ll call or what you’ll do? A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against costly repairs, and save yourself the time and hassle of finding a qualified professional to get major systems and appliances up and running again.
This winter, homeowners should also be aware of important warning signs and potential heating system hazards to protect their homes from any accidents. In 2011, faulty and improperly used heating equipment accounted for nearly 400 deaths nationwide, more than 53,000 fires and $893 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
To help prevent heating system hazards, be aware of the following critical signs when you're indoors this winter:
- Always be aware of gas odors. If you smell gas around your heating unit, leave the area and call your gas company immediately.
- Be sure your pilot light is burning a steady blue flame. If it is not, call your heating professional or a gas company.
- Take a close look at your exhaust fan for any rust, damage or deterioration. If you notice any, call a qualified professional and describe what you see to determine whether a repair is needed.
This winter, don't take any chances! Take the time to watch the helpful videos covering a variety of home maintenance tips and home heating warning signs that are hosted by David Leon and published on American Home Shield's YouTube channel. Plus, visit their informational Home Matters blog, which serves as a great resource to help homeowners balance their busy lives with tips and news on everything home.
What do you do to stay warm while staying safe during winter?
This post is part of a compensated partnership opportunity with American Home Shield, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.