Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Check off these simple home maintenance items to get your home winter ready.

INTERIOR

  •  Schedule A Heating System Tune-Up & Cleaning
    • Don’t wait for winter to settle in before scheduling a heating system inspection. You don’t want to realize there’s a problem when it’s ten below freezing and your heat won’t turn on.
  • Check Your Pipes
    • If your pipes are old or if you live in a particularly cold area, it’s more likely that water can build up in your pipes and freeze. Remember: don’t turn the heat too low – even if you’re not home – to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Clean Your Fireplace
    • Creosote is a flammable oil that can accumulate inside your chimney over time. It’s a good idea to schedule a cleaning every year to remove the buildup. Otherwise, it may catch fire when you light your fireplace.
  • Check Your Insulation
    • When there are problems with your insulation, cold air will get in and hot air will get out, forcing your heating system to work overtime. To avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, it’s best to hire a professional to repair insulation.
  • Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to be sure they’re working properly; replace batteries if necessary.
  • Stock Up On Basics
    • Being prepared can save the day. Stock up on emergency supplies such as imperishable goods, flashlights, batteries, and matches before bad weather strikes.

EXTERIOR

  •  Inspect Your Roof
    • Because your roof is a key source of protection for your home, it’s important to make sure it remains in good condition. Make sure there are no holes, missing shingles or unstable areas.
  • Clear Snow & Ice From Walkways & Driveways
    • Snow can be extremely hazardous during winter months, particularly when there are layers of ice hiding below. It’s vital to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways and roads and put down salt afterward to prevent ice from forming in these high-traffic areas. If you’re unable to do this yourself, contact a snow removal service.
  • Clean Your Gutters
    • Keeping your gutters clear is extremely important for ensuring your roof and house foundation are protected. Make sure to clean out your gutters before winter hits, or hire a professional to do so for you.
  • Prune Trees Around The House
    • Because branches may break when under the stress of heavy snow or ice, prune large branches near your house to prevent possible damage.

Tips on How To Warm Up Cold Basements

Basements can be tough to keep warm. Warm air rises and the insulation of the ground on three or four sides of a home keep the space MUCH cooler. Adding return air vents can help the balance of air flow however it likely will not help increase the basement temperature and can also detract from the effectiveness of cooling the upstairs of the house.

The best thing to do is to ensure the joints are sealed properly and insulate the exposed pipes in the basement to make sure as much cool air as possible goes upstairs. Another option is to add a small electric heater in the space. This is recommended in cooler months so as not to detract from cooling the rest of the house in warmer months.


Why New Homeowners Need A Thorough HVAC Inspection and Cleaning.

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and one of the best ways to protect your investment is with a thorough HVAC inspection and cleaning from a certified professional.

Your home inspector most likely did a general evaluation of your furnace and air conditioner.  How old is the system? Was it properly installed? Does it turn on properly? However, most home inspections don’t include a detailed evaluation of the HVAC system and cleaning. There may be underlying problems that affect the efficiency and lifespan of your system that go unnoticed by a standard home inspection.

And unless the previous owner left detailed maintenance records, you have no way of knowing the last time your system was cleaned and serviced. It may have been years ago, which can cause your energy bills to skyrocket.

Only a thorough inspection and cleaning by a certified HVAC professional can identify issues before they cost you a lot of time and money down the road.

If Atlas Butler previously serviced the equipment in your new home, we can provide you with the service history. Call us at 614-681-2167 to see if we serviced your home in the past or to schedule a detailed HVAC inspection and cleaning.

Click here to save on a thorough HVAC inspection and cleaning!


Before You Call

Sometimes there is a simple solution to fixing a heating or cooling system. If your air conditioner or heat isn’t working, use the checklist below to troubleshoot common problems. If your system still isn’t working, or if you’re unsure or uncomfortable troubleshooting, give us a call!

Atlas Butler is the home of the Same-Day Comfort Pledge. Call us anytime, day or night, weekends or holidays, and a technician will be out to get you up and running the same day without any after-hours or overtime service fees.

My air conditioner isn’t working.

  • Check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “cooling” or “auto” and set to the desired temperature.
  • Check the air filter. A dirty air filter can reduce the airflow coming out of the register. Replace with a new, clean filter.
  • Are all registers open and unobstructed?
  • Check the power switch near each unit. For an indoor unit, the switch should be near the unit. It should be clearly marked, but it may look like a regular light switch. If it’s off, turn it on.
  • Check the fuse in the circuit breaker.

My heat isn’t working.

  • Check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “heating” or “auto” and set to the desired temperature.
  • Check the air filter. A dirty air filter can reduce the airflow coming out of the register. Replace with a new, clean filter.
  • Are all registers open and unobstructed?
  • Check the power switch near each unit. For an indoor unit, the switch should be near the unit. It should be clearly marked, but it may look like a regular light switch. If it’s off, turn it on.
  • Check the fuse in the circuit breaker.
  • If you have a gas furnace, check that the gas service has not been terminated. Gas companies will turn off service if a leak is detected, sometimes without notice.
  • If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas control valve to the furnace is open.
  • If you have an older gas furnace with a pilot light, make sure it is lit.
  • If you have a newer gas furnace with electric ignition, check the display. The panel should have an explanation of the codes on the display.

The Life Of An HVAC: How Long Do Heating & Cooling Systems Last?

Heating and cooling systems don’t last forever. It’s a bummer, we know! It would be nice if we never had to worry about replacing them, but there comes a day and a time when every system—no matter how well maintained—has to be put out to pasture.

But when is that day and time? Take a look at this handy chart to find the average lifespan of each type of system:

  • Furnace: 15 – 20 years
  • Heat pump: 16 years
  • Air conditioning unit: 10 – 15 years
  • Tankless water heater: 20 years
  • Electric or gas water heater: 10 years
  • Thermostat: 35 years (but usually replaced sooner due to technological improvements)

Learn more:
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/news/0810/gallery.how_long_things_last.toh/4.html