This time of year there are fewer maintenance items to do in regards to your home because so many things were done in the fall that prepare your home for winter. Though the list is short, it is also important to keep your home in tip top shape.
As with the rest of the year replacing your furnace filter is very important. During the winter the house is closed up retaining dust, so keeping up on your furnace filter will help keep everyone breathing better. Most furnace manufacturers recommend changing your furnace filter every 90 days but as I mentioned before, I change ours every 60 days.
I have helped a few neighbors in the past who were experiencing furnace issues and the first thing I look at (just as your HVAC professional will) is the furnace filter. I really wish I had some photos of what I have seen; OMG! One filter was so coated with dust and grime that you couldn’t even see the filtering element any more. A dirty furnace filter not only puts all that garbage into the air your family breaths. but also drastically reduces the airflow your furnace fan can put out. This in return, reduces the amount of heat or cool air the furnace fan can put out and makes the entire furnace work harder reducing its life span.
Winter is also when I replace our smoke detector and CO2 detector batteries. I pick this time just because I am stuck in doors and would not choose to replace those batteries on a nice sunny day in the summer. Some web sites recommend replacing detector batteries every six months, but we do ours once a year. I recommend you replace your detector batteries as often as you feel comfortable with.
Another item on the winter check list is sink drains and toilets. I use plastic flexible tool designed specifically for pulling hair and gunk out of the bathroom sink drains and after wards I pour a little bleach down the drain. I let it sit for five minutes or so and then run hot water down every drain for good solid minute to flush all the bleach out of the drain and pipes. If you don’t want to use bleach, I have read that juice and vinegar works well. When I clean the drains I also pour some bleach into all the toilet water tanks. After letting the bleach sit in the tank for ten or fifteen minutes I flush the toilets pushing the bleach threw the entire toilet bowl system. This keeps mold and funk from forming along with normal cleaning of the toilet bowls.
To download and print my complete Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
About the author:
Captain Bri is a 20+ year airline veteran and a home maintenance enthusiast.