3 Fast & Easy Winter Home Maintenance Tips – That you can do this weekend!

1) Check Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Yep, it’s something we typically do when we adjust our clocks for daylight savings time. Hopefully you already did it, but just in case you forgot, please do it now for those you love and for those who love you! According to the U.S. Fire Administration, heating is the cause of 27 percent of structure fires during the winter months. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working in your home. You should have a minimum of one on each floor. The NFPA requires one in each sleeping room as well as outside each sleeping area. Check the batteries in all alarms once a month.

2) Test Your Sump Pump (or lubricate your palmer valve if you have one) & Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater
Your sump pump will help you keep your basement dry. You can address 2 issues at once if you connect a garden hose to the faucet at the bottom of your water heater and insert the other end into your sump crock. Let the water run for a few minutes until the water is clear and you hear the sump pump energize. Sediment collects at the bottom of hot water tanks overtime creating hot spots that can damage the tank and cause premature failure. On an electric water heater, sediment buildup can cause the lower heating element to fail. Draining a water heater once a year may help lower energy bills and extend its life. The typical lifespan of a sump pump is 10 years, water heaters are now only lasting between 8 – 12 years.

3) Protect Your Air Conditioning Unit
Even though the condensing unit is built to be outdoors, it can still be damaged by falling ice and other debris. Place a sheet of plywood on top and hold it down with some bricks. DO NOT cover it with a tarp unless the cover is breathable, like house wrap. Otherwise you can trap condensation under the tarp which will make the unit rust out prematurely.