Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
For some homeowners, their pre-winter maintenance tasks don’t get finished until winter is almost over. The key to winter maintenance is organization. National Chimney Cleaners of Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT, would like to share a winter home maintenance checklist that’s easy to follow and will get everything done in time for the cold season.
Look at your heating system
For your outdoor heat pump, clear bushes a foot or two away from the unit and brush off any tree or other debris that has accumulated on it. Have the appliance professionally inspected once a year. Check your boiler each month for leaks. Leaks or no leaks, schedule annual inspections with a qualified boiler technician, who will inspect the vent system, wiring, heat exchanger and pH levels.
If you have a furnace, check it for leaks and schedule annual inspections. Your inspector will make sure the ignition is working properly and will replace filters if needed. You should also have your furnace vent system inspected.
Professional chimney sweeps use specialized brushes, rods, chains, solvents and vacuums to safely remove creosote from your chimney flue. Creosote builds up every time wood is burned and is highly flammable. A thorough chimney cleaning will also remove leaves, twigs, animal nests, dead animals and other debris. An obstructed flue can send smoke and deadly carbon monoxide into your home. (Installing a chimney cap will prevent the debris problem.)
Inspect your home for heat loss
A leaky house will cost a lot more to heat than one that’s well sealed. Things to check include:
Wall insulation: Most heat loss happens through the walls.
Weather stripping around windows and doors: Make sure it’s all in good shape.
Lighting and plumbing fixtures: Adding some spray foam insulation will seal cracks behind walls that contain these fixtures.
Basement: Basements often have many holes and places where air can escape. Expanding foam works well to plug the openings.
Trim back trees
Pay attention to tree branches that are rotted or broken and could damage some area of your property or home. Compromised branches can easily break when loaded with snow. Healthy branches can also break during a major snow or wind storm, so make sure all branches are trimmed back or removed.
More winter tasks
Here are a few more tasks to add to your checklist.
- Schedule a chimney and fireplace inspection by a qualified inspector. This should be done once a year.
- Clean out rain gutters to prevent backups and damage from freezing.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide monitors and smoke detectors are working. Change batteries annually.
- Keep a supply of blankets, flashlights, candles, water, food and other items to use in case of an extended power outage or other emergency.
- Remove snow and ice from the roof, nearby trees and walkways as it accumulates.
- Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing.
- Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push warm air downward.
We’re here to help maintain your chimney and fireplace
National Chimney Cleaners provides chimney sweep services along with chimney and fireplace inspections and all types of chimney repairs. We’ll help make sure your chimney and fireplace are safe, efficient and ready for the winter. Speak with a Connecticut and New Jersey chimney expert today at 800-631-6177 or reach out with our handy contact form.