Is your home ready for winter? Sustained low temperatures, combined with cold winds and winter precipitation, can cause problems for the interior and exterior of your home. Here are some common winter household problems to anticipate and avoid:
• Heating system breakdowns can be an uncomfortable – and sometimes expensive – issue when cold weather hits. Make sure your system is inspected and well maintained before you need to depend on it for warmth.
• Air leaks, particularly around doors and windows, can cause drafts and heating system inefficiency, raising your energy costs. You can find some useful tips here for keeping your home energy efficient during the winter months.
• Gathering around a cozy fireplace is one of winter’s pleasures, but chimney fires are a big winter safety hazard. Make sure your chimney has been cleaned and inspected before you light the first fire.
• Roof leaks often occur during the winter due to missing or loose shingles, or because of poor design and maintenance. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or precipitation, check your roof for potential problems before winter begins and keep an eye on it for potential problems.
• Ice dams can also be a seasonal issue in many parts of the country. They are usually caused when melted water backs up, causing leaks. Keep an eye out for potential trouble spot along your roof and roofline.
• Clogged gutters can also cause leaks in the roof, trim, or walls of your home. Clean out your gutters each fall, especially if you have a lot of falling leaves.
• In-ground automatic sprinkler system pipes can leak when they are not in use. Be sure to drain and winterize your system to avoid this problem.
• Burst pipes, especially around outdoor faucets, can cause extensive damage this time of year. Proper insulation and good heat circulation can prevent this problem. Always leave cabinet doors open and the heat on when temperatures plummet.
• Tree branches that are stressed due to ice, snow, or even just a lot of moisture can fall and damage your home, fence, and landscaping. Keep dead branches trimmed from large trees, and cut back trees from your roof whenever possible.
Even a well maintained home can’t always avoid winter problems and inevitable system and appliance breakdowns. An AHS Home Warranty covers the repair and replacement of some of the most frequently occurring home system component and appliance malfunctions, and some of the most expensive ones to fix – such as heating and cooling systems.