Although cold weather restricts us from outdoor activities, there is always something to be done in the home during that time. Here are some maintenance tasks property owners can do this winter to make their home safer and better prepared for cold temperatures:
- Changing the furnace filter. The furnace runs inefficiently when the filter is filled with the airborne particles it captures, such as dust or pollen. Filters should be changed once a month during the heating season, but the manufacturer’s instructions should be consulted first.
- Checking smoke and CO alarms. These alarms should be tested monthly during winter, when there’s an increased risk of heating equipment fire. Batteries should be changed once a year, preferably in the fall. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and CO alarms every 5 years, depending on the manufacturer.
- Maintaining the humidifier. The components of the humidifier have to be cleaned frequently during the dry winter months. Over time, the humidifier builds up scale due to the minerals in the tap water that will cause bacteria to grow. The owner’s manual provides information on which components need cleaning and what cleaners to use. Filters and wicks should be replaced periodically.
- Performing a Radon test. Radon is a carcinogenic gas that seeps in through the soil and rocks under buildings. The cold season is a good time to test homes for Radon (with a specialized monitoring device) because windows and doors are likely to be closed, trapping in substances such as Radon.
- Reversing the ceiling fans. In the summer, ceiling fans are run counter-clockwise to move a breeze around and cool the air. When the ceiling fans run clockwise, the warm air will be pushed towards the floor, resulting in an increased temperature in the room. This will allow property owners to turn down the thermostat by a degree or two.
Preventing water pipes from freezing is another important maintenance task to keep in mind during winter. This article provides tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing. The PuroClean team is ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.