Ah, the holidays are over. Now that you’ve packed away all the holiday decorations and gifts, it’s time to get back to basics with your post-holiday home maintenance checklist! The new year is a great time to start thinking about important areas like plumbing and HVAC systems; they may not be as exciting as decorating your tree or baking cookies for Santa, but taking care of them can save you from a lot of headaches down the line. In this blog post, we’ll give you a quick rundown on how to assess your plumbing and HVAC appliances so that both these integral parts of your home remain in top shape during the cold winter months.
Plumbing and HVAC Checklist
1. Check your gutters and downspouts.
After all the holiday festivities have wrapped up, take a stroll around your property to check on the state of your gutters and downspouts. If you notice any clogs, be sure to clear them out as soon as possible. Clogged gutters can lead to a variety of problems, including water damage to your home’s foundation or landscaping.
2. Check your pipes for leaks.
Take a look at all the exposed pipes in your home and check for any leaks. Leaking pipes can not only waste water but can also lead to serious water damage in your home.
3. Flush your water heater.
Your water heater works hard all year long, so it’s important to give it a little TLC from time to time. Flush out your water heater every few months to remove any sediment that has built up inside. You should also check the temperature of your water heater and make sure it is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Clean your furnace filter.
If you have a central heating system, be sure to check and clean or replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. A dirty furnace filter can cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to, which can lead to higher energy bills and premature wear and tear on your furnace.
5. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
It’s always a good idea to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on a monthly basis, but it’s especially important to do so after the holidays when there are typically more people in the house using candles, fireplaces, and other potential sources of combustion.
6. Check for drafts around doors and windows.
One way to keep your home warm and cozy all winter long is by sealing up any drafts around doors and windows. Take a walk around your home and see if you can feel any cold air coming in from outside. If you do, simply add some weatherstripping or caulk around the door or window to seal the draft.
7. Inspect your chimney and flue
A cozy, crackling fire is a beautiful thing – but a sooty chimney flue is not. Opt for an annual chimney inspection to avoid things like creosote buildup, which is the #1 (preventable) cause of chimney fires.
8. Wipe down HVAC vents
Dust and pet hair buildup on your HVAC vents can obstruct airflow, causing your system to work harder than necessary. Give them a quick wipe-down every month or two to ensure that the air is flowing unrestricted.
9. Opt for a professional inspection
Regularly servicing your plumbing and HVAC systems can help you avoid costly repairs down the line. Opt for a professional plumbing and HVAC inspection at least once a year to make sure everything is running as smoothly (and safely) as possible.
Hopefully, this post-holiday plumbing and HVAC checklist helps you get your home in tip-top shape for the new year. Taking a little time to care for these integral parts of your home can go a long way towards saving you time, money, and energy – now that’s something to be merry about! Happy plumbing and happy New Year!